Teaching STS is often a matter of guiding students to ask questions of how the world around them has come into being and, in parallel, how their lives are shaped by science and technology. Science Studies scholars are often motivated by a desire to discover what has been forgotten, lost, unacknowledged and made invisible. In planning and executing STS classes, scholars balance the lure of telling satisfying stories as part of a ‘grand narrative of science’, against the oft forgotten lesser tales from the margins of science. Feminist STS provides a pedagogical practice that is sensitised to the practices and positions of recovering stories in the ‘minor register,’ all the while situating the inquiring body with respect to the material under study. For anthropologist of science and medicine Joe Dumit, student writing “emerges from the encounter of our commitments with the liveliness of their objects” (2014, 359) Inspired by dancers who improvise only after extensive practice in basic forms of movement—building strength in one’s body and trust in partners—when he teaches, Dumit encourages free form, untethered, explorative writing; but always in a careful, circumspect, and guided format. Moreover, Dumit builds outwards from a particular practice of reading, before inviting students to write (2012). In this workshop, I will share how I teach students to read and write STS, using methods that I’ve learned from Joe, while experimenting with a new format for collaborative teaching. Bring your best and worst teaching stories and share some skills with fellow STS teachers.
Dumit, Joseph. 2012. “How I Read”. https://dumit.net/how-i-read/
Dumit, Joseph. 2014. “Writing the Implosion: Teaching the World One Thing at a Time”. Cultural Anthropology 29 (2):344-62. https://doi.org/10.14506/ca29.2.09.
About the speaker
Dr Xan Chacko is the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA. Her job at Wellesley is to develop curriculum in Feminist STS. In Spring 2021, Chacko is teaching a course called Gender and Technologies, which analyzes how technologies such as genetic testing, in-vitro fertilization, social media, and the Border Wall are used to create and maintain boundaries around social categories of race, nation, sex, gender, and ability.
Join the workshop
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