Gender, Race, and the Complexities of Science and Technology

SPRING: Thursdays, 5-8 PM**
February 3, 2011 – May 5, 2011

Science and Technology are relatively insulated from wider public deliberation -- art and literary criticism are familiar; but not "science criticism." Yet there is a large body of social interpretation of science and technology, to which feminist, anti-racist, and other critical analysts and activists have made significant contributions. Building on this work, this course sets out to challenge the barriers of expertise, gender, race, class, and place that restrict wider access to and understanding of the production of scientific knowledge and technologies. In this spirit, students participate in an innovative, problem-based learning approach that allows them to shape their own directions of inquiry and develop critical faculties as investigators and skills as prospective teachers. In these inquiries students are guided by individualized bibliographies co-constructed with the instructors and by the projects of the other students. Students from all fields and levels of preparation are encouraged to join and learn about gender, race, and the complexities of science and technology.


Sally Haslanger is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at MIT. Her research and teaching cover a broad range of areas, from Ancient Greek Philosophy (especially Aristotle), to contemporary analytic metaphysics and epistemology, and feminist social and political philosophy. Her co-edited volumes include (with Elizabeth Hackett), Theorizing Feminisms (Oxford, 2005) and (with Charlotte Witt) Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays (Cornell, 2005).

Peter Taylor is a Professor at UMass Boston, where he directs the Programs in Science, Technology and Values and Critical and Creative Thinking. His teaching spans biomedical and environmental sciences, science and technology studies, critical pedagogy, and reflective practice. He is the author of Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement and co-editor of Changing Life: Genomes, Ecologies, Bodies, Commodities.


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Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085