Feminist Futures at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research starts Wednesday, January 31st at Verso Books (20 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY, 11201)!
From designer babies to genetic surveillance, and from the “culture” of tech workplaces to the politics of climate change, feminist science studies writers are at the forefront of research on some of the most pressing issues in science and technology today. They demand that we consider whether new technologies—such as those in medicine and computing—will deliver on their promise to make the world a safer, happier, and more prosperous place for everyone, or whether they will instead reinforce the systemic social exclusion of certain social groups.
This course will delve into some of the apparent dilemmas that modern communities face through engagement with key works from more than thirty years of feminist science studies research, including critical feminist theory, history, science and technology studies (STS), and anthropology. We will reflect upon historical research on the “gendering” of scientific knowledge from Evelyn Fox Keller; debate the relationship between gender roles and the science of reproduction with work from Emily Martin; consider how technical expertise regiments our experience based on gender, race, ability, and socioeconomic categories with Susan Leigh Star; and imagine how we might practice science differently—even better—through readings by Karen Barad and Donna Haraway. We will also examine some futures constructed in feminist science fiction—futures which are at times utopian, and at other types dystopian. Participants will emerge from this class with new insights as to what the history, philosophy, and imaginaries of science and technology can teach us about constructing a more vibrant future for human society.