BISSTS 397: Gender in Science and Technology
Instructor: Coleen Carrigan, Ph.D.
The midterm must be typed and a hard copy turned in on Tuesday, May 5th in class. In two pages, double-spaced, with margins no larger than 1.25” answer question I:
I. Define and give examples of naturalization. Drawing on at least three of the readings below, discuss why is this concept important to understanding and resisting political systems that tolerates inequalities in health and labor segregation in scientific knowledge production.
II. Choose two out of the following questions to answer. Each answer should be one page, double-spaced, with margins no larger than 1.25”.
A. What is the value of understanding science as a historically and culturally situated practice? Referencing either Chapman, R., & Burggren, J. (2005) or Franklin, S. (1995) [choose one], explain why the the author(s) believe anthropology offers unique contributions to the social study of science and the broader cultural domains in which science and technology labor takes place?
B. Who are Francis Bacon and René Descartes, what are their methods and philosophies and why are they important to science? What political and economic changes in gender social relations occurred at the time Bacon and Descartes rose to prominence? Why is this history important to understanding the social relations of science today?
C. Summarize Scheper and Hughes’ (1987) three perspectives on the body and use this framework to discuss the mechanization of the body, the conquest of nature through the mechanical arts and “why the body was so central to state politics and intellectual discourse” during the Age of Reason (Federici 2004, 137).
Readings To Discuss:
Scheper-Hughes, N., & Lock, M. (1997). The Mindful Body: A Prolegomenon to Future Work in Medical Anthropology. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1(1), 6-41.
Jain, S.L. (2007) Cancer Butch. Cultural Anthropology 22(4). Pgs. 501-538.
Skloot, R. (2010) Chapter 3-13, 20-23 The Immortal Life Henrietta Lacks. New York: Crown Publishing.
Chapman, R., & Burggren, J. (2005) Radical contextualization: contributions to anthropology of racial/ethnic health disparities. Health, 9(2), 145-167.
Franklin, S. (1995). “Science as Culture, Culture as Science.” Annual Review of Anthropology, 24, 163-184.
Harding, S. (2008). Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies: Are There Multiple Sciences? Sciences From Below: Feminisms, Postcolonialities and Modernities. Durham: Duke University Press, 130-154.
Merchant, C. (1980). The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco: Harper Collins, pgs. 149- 190.
Federici, S. (2004). Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation. New York: Autonomedia, 133-163