Informed by Marxist theory, feminism, and science studies, this class interrogates how drugs – both engineered pharmaceuticals and pleasurably addictive illegal substances – gain and reproduce their power in our social life. As total health expenditures approach 20% of American GDP, and drugs become dynamic components of everyday life, understanding the personal experience and political economy of these compounds is more crucial than ever.
Join me in Jersey City for the Brooklyn Institute’s first Jersey class at Word Bookstore!
Donna Haraway argues in her canonical essay, “A Manifesto For Cyborgs,” that to be a cyborg means to live in a world without tidy origin stories or innocent wholeness. Instead, it is about partial connections, complex kinship with humans, non-humans, and machines, and an acceptance of the messiness that it takes to get along better together. Using this formulation of cyborg theory as a jumping off point, this seminar will explore what it means to live in our modern world where myths of human-machine synthesis prefigure our attitudes toward technology and the future, the responsibility of humans toward non-humans and the environment, capitalist accumulation, and oppression based on gender, race, and class.
Over a career spanning four decades, philosopher of science Donna Haraway has revolutionized how social theorists and technoscience practitioners understand the situated objectivity of scientific knowledge, with special attention to the ways in which technoscience assigns biological meaning to social categories of gender. While Haraway is most famously associated with Cyborg Theory, this course will offer students an opportunity to survey the full scope of her oeuvre, including those works that draw on Marxist feminist theory, philosophy of science, and multispecies concerns.
What does it take to build an infrastructural system? What kind of norms do infrastructures enforce, and what kinds of people do they allow to thrive? What happens when infrastructure starts to break down, or prove inadequate in the face of disaster? What do infrastructures teach us? And what kind of world do they make possible? This four-week seminar pulls back the curtain to reveal the people, processes, and values that shape the infrastructures of modern life, and how these systems simultaneously provide opportunities for and place constraints on social life.
Through our investigation of the multiple lives of immunity, this class will explore how the strategic deployment of scientific knowledge and medico-technological practices animates a biopolitical understanding of society and embeds modern biomedicine in every aspect of social life.
This week I conducted a teaching exercise in my writing-intensive, first-year class about human health and the environment designed to help my students better understand how to analyze social “data” for their final papers. They did a great job, putting their fingers on some of the major concerns I’ve heard voiced during my research on the food allergy community!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed if you read my blog with any regularity, I read a lot of very theory … More
Image from Amazon.com One of the very first pieces of scholarly writing my summer students read was the first few … More