STS 413
Feminist Technoscience Fall 2023
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 413
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Class Details

Are Feminism and Science compatible commitments? What do these nouns mean when paired with one another, when capitalized (or not), when pluralized (or not), and when deployed by a range of authors in different disciplines? Scholars of feminist science and technology studies (FSTS) have addressed these questions in their studies of scientific objectivity, technological vulnerability, environmentalism, and the makings (or doings) of race as well as gender. We will explore these questions and topics with a view to identifying the range of ethical, political, and epistemological practices within feminist and critical technoscience. We will read theoretical texts in FSTS, such as Donna Haraway’s “Situated Knowledges” and Safiya Umoja Noble’s “A future for intersectional black feminist technology studies.” We will also read case studies, such as Pat Treusch’s “The Art of Failure in Robotics” and Emily Martin’s “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles.” While our preliminary readings will be set in advance, students will help shape the syllabus as we advance toward a better understanding of feminist technoscience’s potentials and limitations at a time when technical change often outpaces careful consideration of its consequences.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 1929
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: discussion participation; five response papers (~2 pages); mid-semester essay (8 pages); annotated bibliography; final research project (12-15 page essay + in-class presentation)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Science and Technology Studies concentrators
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
STS 413 Division II WGSS 413 Division II
DPE Notes: Central to "Feminist Technoscience" is a recognition of and engagement with the historical under-privileging of women, women's work, and women's bodies in capital-S "Science" and in a wide range of other technoscientific practices. We will examine and elucidate several branches of feminist theory. We will also examine feminist accounts of contemporary technoscientific work as well as critical STS with a focus on race.
Attributes: STS Senior Seminars

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