SPRING: Thursdays, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
February 5 - May 14, 2015
Meets at MIT, Building and Room TBD
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 you to shape your own directions of inquiry and re-engage with yourselves as avid learners and inquirers. At the same time as you are developing critical faculties as investigators you are also learning tools and processes for teaching and engagement with wider communities. 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.
Peter Taylor is a Professor at UMass Boston, where he directs the graduate programs on Science in a Changing World 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 Nature-Nurture? No (forthcoming), co-author of Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research and Engagement, and co-editor of Changing Life: Genomes, Ecologies, Bodies, Commodities.
Kim Surkan has taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at
MIT since 2005. Dr. Surkan does interdisciplinary work in queer,
feminist, and new media studies with a humanities focus, and is currently
writing a series of articles on technology and the (trans)gendered body.