Sample Syllabi: Approaches to the Study of Science and Technology

This course explores different qualitative approaches to the study of science and technology in society. We will begin by discussing the framework and foundations of such studies by looking at questions of knowledge production and evaluation. We will then conduct in-depth explorations of three major approaches: science studies, feminist studies, and cultural studies. Within each of these general areas we will review their unique philosophical and methodological approaches, as well as their commonalities. Although not the subject of in-depth focus, other approaches, such as historiography, critical race studies, discourse analysis, and globalization studies, will be discussed as well. As should become clear, the varied approaches to studying science and technology are less distinct disciplines and more a variety of scholarly research programs in conversation with each other. The goal for the class is understanding the study of science and technology as a conversation rather than absolutes of right/wrong, true/false, science/myth, etc., which you will demonstrate in your final research project.

•Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo, Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach
•Additional readings: Blackboard
• MLA, APA or Chicago style guide
• Optional readings: Blackboard

COURSE PREVIEW. All assignments will be turned in through Blackboard.
Research Project: Your research project counts for 40% of your grade. However, it is broken up into several smaller assignments. The grades on each of these will be combined into your final grade for the project:
1.List of potential topics (3 points). This is an informal list of 5-10 technologies or sciences you are interested in researching. Label items as “broad” (e.g., medicine) or “specific” (e.g., cosmetic surgery for men) topics of interest. You should have a mix of both.
2. First prospectus (7 points): Should reflect feedback on topics. A one-page rough listing of the following items:
a. Broad topic
b. Specific topic
c. Theory / approach (e.g., feminist, cultural studies, historiography, etc. May be more than one)
d. Bibliography: Five scholarly titles relevant to your topics.
3. Second prospectus (10 points): One to two page outline, incorporating feedback received on first prospectus
a. Broad topic
b. Specific topic
c. Theory / approach (should be narrowed and refined)
d. Argument (summarize in a sentence or two)
e. Supporting evidence / arguments (at least three)
f. Bibliography (seven sources minimum, five must be scholarly)
4. Final paper (15 points): Should reflect feedback received on three earlier assignments. 12 pages, Times font 12 pt. double spaced.
5. Presentation (5 points): 5-10 minute summary of your research project for the class. Do not merely read from notes. Audiovisual presentation materials encouraged but not re-quired.
Midterm: The midterm exam counts 25% of your grade and will be a take-home combination of short answer and essay questions.
Final Exam: The final exam counts 25% of your grade and will be an in-class combination of short answer and essay questions.
Participation: Participation counts 10% of your grade.



WEEK 1 Welcome and Introduction to Class

WEEK 2 Epistemologies, Methods, Limitations, Ideologies
• Lorraine Datson, “Objectivity and the Escape from Perspective,” from The Science Studies Reader (Biagioli, Ed.)
• Nancy Harstock, “The Feminist Standpoint: Developing the Ground for a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism,” from L. Nicholson (Ed.), The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory
• Lisa Gitelman, “Introduction: Media as Historical Subjects” and “Epilogue: Doing Media History,” Always Already New:Media, History, and the Data of Culture
• Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and Michael Wutz, “Translators’ Introduction: Friedrich Kittler and Media Discourse Analysis” from Friedrich Kittler’s Gramophone, Film, Typewriter

WEEK 3 Anthropology, Ethnography, Fieldwork
• Susanne K├╝chler, “Technological Materiality: Beyond the Dualist Paradigm”
• M. Biagioli, “Introduction,” from The Science Studies Reader
• Jenny Reardon, “Introduction,” from Race to the Finish: Identity and Governance in an Age of Genomics
• Paul Rabinow and Talia Dan-Cohen, “Overture: A Machine to Make a Future,” from A Machine to Make a Future: Biotech Chronicles

• Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo, “Introduction,” from Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach
• Pierre Bourdieu, “The Specificity of Scientific Field and the Social Conditions of the Progress of Reason”
• Maria Chiara Montani, “The Germs of Terror –Bioterrorism and Science Communication after September 11”
• Chris Chesher, “Becoming the Milky Way: Mobile Phones and Actor Networks at a U2 Concert”
• Hughie Mackay and Gareth Gillespie, “Extending the Social Shaping of Technology Approach: Ideology and Appropriation”

WEEK 5 Rhetoric
• Barbara Warnick, “Interactivity: The Golden Fleece of the Internet,” from Rhetoric Online: Persuasion and Politics on the World Wide Web
• Brian Easlea, “Alamogordo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki: ‘Almost full grown at birth’,” from Fathering the Unthinkable: Masculinity, Scientists and the Nuclear Arms Race
• Christina R. Fousta, “Aesthetics as Weapons in the ‘War of Ideas:’ Exploring the Digital and Typographic in American Conservative Web Sites”

WEEK 6 Philosophy
• Michel Foucault, “On the Archeology of the Sciences: Response to the Epistemology Circle,” from Aesthetics, Method, Epistemology
• Andrew Feenberg, “Technology, Philosophy, Politics,” from Questioning Technology
• Martin Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology”
• Sande Cohen, “Reading Science Studies Writing,” from M. Biagioli (Ed.), The Science Studies Reader
• Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo, “The Dance of Truth,” from Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach


Week 7 Theorizing
• Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective”
• Joan Scott, “Experience”
• Sandra Harding, “Introduction: Is There a Feminist Method?”
• Sandra Harding, “Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What is ‘Strong Objectivity’?”
• Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo, “Cultures of Science,” from Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach

WEEK 8 Science & Technology
• Judy Wajcman, “Feminist Critiques of Science and Technology” from Feminism Confronts Technology
• Evelyn Fox Keller, “Introduction,” from Reflections on Gender and Science
• Helene Silverberg, “Introduction: Toward a Gendered Social Science History,” from Gender and American Social Science: The Formative Years
• Teresa de Lauretis, “The Technology of Gender,” from Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction
• Sherry Turkle, “TinySex and Gender Trouble,” from Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

WEEK 9 Bodies
• Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”
• Anne Balsamo, “Reading Cyborgs, Writing Feminism,” from Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women Approaches to the Study of Science and Technology
• Thomas Lacquer, “Of Language and the Flesh,” from Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud
• Judith Halberstam, “Introduction: Masculinity without Men,” from Female Masculinity

WEEK 10 Medicine
• The Working Group on A New View of Women’s Sexual Problems, “Challenging the Medicalization of Sex: The New View Manifesto, A New View of Women's Sexual Problems”
• Rachel Maines, “The Job Nobody Wanted,” from The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction
• Valerie Hartouni, “Introduction,” from Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life
• Susan Bordo, “Whose Body is This? Feminism, Medicine, and the Conceptualization of Eating Disorders,” from Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body
• Erin O’Connor, “Breast Reductions,” from Raw Material: Producing Pathology in Victorian Culture


WEEK 11 Methods & Epistemologies
• Slack & Wise, “A Cultural Studies Approach to Technological Culture,” from Culture and Technology: A Primer
• Raymond Williams, “The Technology and the Society,” from Television: Technology and Cultural Form
• Ellen Seiter, “Qualitative Audience Research,”from Television and New Media Audiences
• Andrew Ross, “Cultural Studies and the Challenge of Science”
• Paul du Gay et al, “Sony as a Global Firm,” from Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman

WEEK 12 Popular Culture
• Constance Penley, “/ Trek,” from NASA / Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America
• Sander Gilman, “The Hottentot and the Prostitute: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality,” from Difference and pathology: Stereotypes of sexuality, race, and madness
• Jeffrey Sconce, “Alien Ether,” from Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television
• Lynn Spigel, “Portable TV: Studies in Domestic Space Travel,” from Welcome to the Dreamhouse: Popular Media and Postwar Suburbs

WEEK 13 Visual Studies
• Jose Van Dijck, “Mediated Bodies and the Ideal of Transparency,” from The Transparent Body: A Cultural Analysis of Medical Imaging
• Lisa Cartwright, “An Etiology of the Neurological Gaze,” from Screening the Body: Tracing Medicine’s Visual Culture
• Shawn Michelle Smith, “Introduction: Photography on the Color Line,” from Photography on the Color Line: W.E.B. DuBois, Race, and Visual Culture
• Jonathan Tercier, “The Lips of the Dead and the ‘Kiss of Life’: The Contemporary Deathbed Scene and the Aesthetic of CPR”

WEEK 14 Power, Politics, Democracy
• Kevin Robins and Frank Webster, “Cyberwars: The Military Information Revolution,” from Times of the Technoculture: From the Information Society to the Virtual Life
• Jodi Dean, “Introduction: Communicative Capitalism: The Ideological Matrix,” from Publicity's Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy
• Wendy Chun, “Scenes of Empowerment,” from Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics
• F. Kittler, “Typewriter,” from Gramophone, Film, Typewriter
• Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo, “STS and Power in the Postmodern World,” from Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach

WEEK 15 American Studies
• Leo Marx, “Sleepy Hollow, 1844,” from The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pas- toral Ideal in America
• David Nye, “The American Sublime,” from American Technological Sublime
• Daniel Czitrom, “‘Lightning Lines’ and the Birth of Modern Communication, 1838-1903,” from Media and the American mind: from Morse to McLuhan.
• Caren Kaplan, “Precision Targets: GPS and the Militarization of U.S. Consumer Identity”
• Langdon Winner, “Do Artifacts Have Politics?,” from The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology

WEEK 16 Project Presentations
•Bauchspies, Croissant, and Restivo, “Life After Science Studies,” from Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach


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