Please contact me if you’re interested in seeing any of the course syllabi below. If you hope to use them in your own courses, please attribute them to me.
Developed as a tool for colonial empire-building at the close of the 19thcentury, the ethnographic method has emerged in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as an important practice for telling the stories of the oppressed and demanding social change.
This class interrogated how drugs – both engineered pharmaceuticals and pleasurably addictive illegal substances – gain and reproduce their power in our social life.
This seminar explored 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 offered students an opportunity to survey the full scope of her oeuvre.
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?
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.
Feminist science studies scholars push us to 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 will instead reinforce the systemic social exclusion of particular social groups.
Turn on the evening news and you will see a parade of disasters: from banking crises to pandemics, from floods to superbugs, from the instantaneous loss of life following an earthquake to the slowly accumulating effects of global climate change. Why is it that we seem to live in a uniquely calamitous age?
The Anthropocene has ironically come to connote a way of thinking about the climactic, labor, financial, and population problems of our time that decenters the privileged ontological status of humans and human agency. This class will survey the critiques of inequality, Enlightenment philosophy, and environmental exploitation enabled by anthropocenic thinking in social theory in a variety of disciplines.