WGSS 2105W: Gender and Science

Requires ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011.

This class will critically examine how social constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability shape science, medicine, and technology. We will consider the complex relationships between constructions of nature, science, objectivity, and the body to highlight how culture influences the theory and practice of different sciences, medical research, and technologies.

Some of the questions we will explore include:
How does science and technology influence everyday life? How are gender, race, sexuality and nation woven through the historical development of Western sciences? How has feminist science studies intervened or critiqued the construction of science, medicine and technology? Is there such a thing as a neutral or gender-free science? Is there such a thing as a feminist science?

We will focus particularly on the culture of science and power of scientific discourse. We will look specifically at how science is used to make claims about social differences, as well as examine the some social implications of medical technologies for women, e.g. how current medical technologies create novel, and even moral, demands and dilemmas for women. No scientific background or experience is required; only a willingness to critically examine both science and ourselves.

Note WGSS 2105W is coded at the catalog level as open to sophomores or higher. If you are an Honors student who will have fewer than 24 credits when this course is offered, you may register by emailing honors@uconn.edu and including (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section; (5) the class number from Student Admin; and (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the course.