This course will figure bioscience and medicine as tools that have been culturally endowed with “definitional power” (Somerville 16). We will examine the potential for appropriation of this power and discuss the myth of medical moral primacy, a perceived transcendence of science over sociopolitical influence/ consequence. The course will also explore how and by whom the culture and content of bioscience are constructed, and ultimately imagine what a feminist, queer practice of science would look like.
The course curriculum will allow for simultaneous exploration of the practice of bioscience through multiple lenses; we will arm our critique with strategies from queer theory, critical theory, philosophy (ontology, epistemology), ethnic studies, and feminist theory, creating a hybrid strategy for analysis. However, our lens remains decidedly queer in the sense that the course aims to “implicitly and explicitly challenge the seemingly ‘natural’ status of epistemological assumptions of established disciplines” (Somerville 6).
While queer studies may initially seem distant and inapplicable to the institution/ field of science, scientific practice is ripe with opportunity for queer critique. We will explore networks of empowerment/ disempowerment, vulnerabilities, construction of a scientific gaze, construction of a scientific subject, marginalization, exploitation, the potential for capitalist appropriation, underlying structures of racism, sexism, queerphobia, paranoia. Our course will also examine the means by which science constructs the idea of a healthy/ normal body, and by extension constructs concepts of legitimate/ illegitimate personhood.
The course is primarily discussion and participation based. Readings will be assigned prior to each meeting. Reading guides will be provided to direct each discussion and challenge students to approach texts and materials critically.
|Discussion Section||Ariana Moghbel||--||205 Dwinelle||[Tu] 6:00PM-7:00PM||01/30/2018||
|Course Syllabus Sp18||Download|