Due to COVID restrictions the course starts online.
To register please use Moodle or send an email to Prof. Pasquinelli.
During the COVID pandemic the authority of science has occupied, once again, the center of the political and social arena. The last year has witnessed the rise of a centralised techno-scientific apparatus to monitor and govern the development of the pandemic but also of a questionable movement that violently attacks the voice of scientists and spread conspiracy theories about the origins of COVID and its cure. How to criticize science in times of pandemic and populism?
In previous decades, the critique of science and technology was an affair of progressive rather than reactionary movements. It was through the critique of workers’, feminist, queer and anticolonial movements that, by the way, the discipline of Science and Technology Studies (STS) was consolidated. The cover of the 1976 book The Radicalisation of Science here depicted was already then emblematic: a woman together with a black and white worker topple down the statue of a scientist.
This course is a primer to the political origins of STS. It focuses on feminist studies from North America and subaltern studies from the Global South, which have contributed not just to a different envisioning of society but also to an alternative perspective on technology and science. These approaches have addressed, among other things, the social status of scientific objectivity, the political role of sciences such as biology, and the alleged gender neutrality of technology.
The course continues the previous “Who Makes Theory?”, in which students were already invited to question the position of the knower (scientist, philosopher, psychiatrist, teacher, etc.), to question who the knowers are, how they know, and where they know, rather than simply what they profess to know. It should be emphasized that this course is not an exercise in identity politics, but rather on the contributions that feminism and post-colonial studies have given to a better understanding of technology and science.
Students will be introduced to basic concepts of decolonial and feminist epistemology (such as: standpoint theory, situated knowledge, “view from nowhere”, cyborg science, modest witness, and more) and will read authors such as Alison Adam, Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, Lorraine Code, Lorraine Daston, Silvia Federici, Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Paola Ricaurte, Hilary and Steven Rose, Judy Wajcman, among others.
A certificate (Schein) is possible with credit in Media Philosophy. Students can a) make a project or deliver a presentation in class and write a short essay of ca. 10 pages, or b) write an extensive essay of ca. 20 pages. All materials will be shared via Dropbox. Visiting students have to apply for the position of freemover or audit student.
Prof. Dr. Matteo Pasquinelli
mpasquinelli [∂] hfg-karlsruhe.de
Enrolment: via email or Moodle
Fridays, 10:00 – 13:00. Weekly
Course start: 23 April 2021
Mondays, 14:00-17 :00.