PhD Course - Feminist and postcolonial STS
Organizers and facilitators
- Anne-Sofie Lautrup Sørensen (PhD Fellow, ITU)
- Caroline Anna Salling (PhD Fellow, ITU)
- Simy Kaur Gahoonia (PhD Fellow, ITU)
- Barbara Nino Carreras (PhD Fellow, ITU)
- Katja de Neergaard (PhD Fellow, ITU)
- Katrine Meldgaard Kjær (Assistant Professor, ITU)
- Rachel Douglas-Jones (Associate Professor, Head of Technologies in Practice, ITU).
Lecturers and discussants
- Michelle Murphy
- Baki Cakici
- Brit Ross Winthereik
- Laura Na Blankholm
- Katrine Meldgaard Kjær
Additional speakers TBA
Digital participation will involve pre-recorded presentations, and virtual Q&A to accommodate time-zone differences.
Dates of the course
18th-20th August 2021.
Preferably 3A08. Approx 15 people and room for distance. International speakers likely will participate digitally. Participants will be notified about the exact location (if guidelines permit meeting in person) closer to the course dates.
This course explores the development of feminist and post-colonial perspectives, and how these have manifested within STS, often referred to as ‘feminist technoscience’. Such perspectives have gained importance for exploring how the logics and values embedded in digital technologies, digitalisation processes, data, knowledge and work practices impacts individuals, groups and society.
Feminist theories have introduced critical thinking around gendered biases in research, questions of objectivity and understandings of technology in relation to justice and anti-oppression.
A primary focus in feminist STS work is to examine and make visible how the production of knowledge and technology re-produces and/or enacts inequalities. As such, feminist works often critically engage with questions of power in relation to different societal groups, technologies, identities and structures.
Post-colonial studies examine the ongoing and lasting effects of colonization onto issues of economics, politics, religion and culture. Within STS, this implies a focus on how the production of knowledge and technology is often thought of as anchored in the global north, thereby leaving out other ways of knowing. In this way, production of knowledge and technology is employed as a site to examine post-colonial hierarchies of power.
As Sandra Harding has argued, science and technology studies, postcolonial studies, and feminist critique must inform one another. This is, for one, because these fields critically engage with issues of power, including the power that resides in knowledge production. As questions of power arise at many different stages of the research process, such dynamics can be challenging to tackle in PhD projects. Therefore, this course invites students to engage with these perspectives to reflect on both empirical material as well as individual research practices. In doing so, the course invites students to learn and unlearn together by curiously engaging with questions such as:
- What theoretical foundations within STS can we draw on in order to examine questions of power and oppression in relation to digital technologies, digitalisation processes, and data, knowledge and work practices
- What does critical feminist STS perspectives on the production of knowledge and objectivity mean for the way we think and practice our research, as well as the empirical fields we encounter?
- How can we as scholars produce more just forms for knowledge and intellectual practices through feminist citational practices, while remaining conscious of the dangers of appropriation?
- What analytical and methodological tools do feminist and post-colonial STS offer for engaging with matters of power, oppression, privilege and difference in the empirical field?
The aims of the course are:
To introduce and discuss theoretical foundations that influence feminist and post-colonial perspectives within STS.
To enable students to think critically with such theories in relation to empirical project work.
To reflect on how issues of power and oppression reside in research practices, and how to work through this methodologically, analytically and in writing.
To develop a space of productive and engaged discussion around the trajectory of individual research projects.
Format and programme
The course will be structured around three themed days that reflect central elements of the students’ projects; 1) Literature and citational practices, 2) Method, and 3) Analysis and Writing. All three days will follow a similar structure: The first part of the day will include a keynote followed by a discussion against the backdrop of the course literature for the given day. The second half of the day is aimed at encouraging students to collectively reflect on how the insights from the first session can inform their own research practices and analytical avenues.
Keynotes will be scheduled according to the availability of guest speakers.
Tentative schedule for all days (subject to updates)
Please note that Wednesday the 18th will run from 10-16:00 to accommodate time-zone differences for international speakers
10:15-11:00: Keynote + clarifying questions
11:15-11:30: Break out room: Discussing takeaways from keynote in relation to today’s text,
11:30-12:00. Plenary discussion / Q&A.
12:00-13:00: Lunch break
13:00-13:45: Group work - discussing keynote and theory in relation to individual projects and experiences - w discussants present
14:00-14:45: Plenary discussion centred on learnings and challenges discussed in groups
14:45-15:00: Wrap up and thank you for today
- One page to be submitted one week before the course: Should briefly introduce the PhD project as well as the motivations and/or challenges for engaging with feminist and post-colonial perspectives in the project.
- Reading course literature
- Reading fellow students’ submissions and preparing feedback
Reflection paper of 3-5 pages building on the initiated writing on the third day of the course. Students can write in whatever format they find useful at the current stage of their research (e.g. a case analysis, a state-of-the art review, or reflections on how to integrate feminist and postcolonial perspectives in research design etc.) The paper should be submitted to organizers one month after completing the course.
4 - According to ECTS key
Amount of hours the student is expected to use on the course
- Preparation of one-pager: 10
- Reading: 49
- Reading submissions of other participants and preparing feedback: 5
- Participation: 16
- Exam: 30
- Total: 110 hours ( ECTS = 4)
PhD students at all levels can participate.
Participants and application procedure
Approx 15 PhD students from different universities.
We focus on access as the prism for the selection of applicants. We have organised this course as a response to our experience that it is difficult to find courses and research networks that attend to how power and oppression arises at many different stages of the research process. This is why we prioritise participants who also struggle to find access to these spaces. For the application, we ask participants to write approximately half a page addressing the following questions:
What courses and research networks (if any) do you participate in and/or have you participated in which provide access to similar themes and questions? We do not check up on what you write and you do not need to provide names of networks or courses.
What would it mean to your PhD project and you as a researcher to participate in this course?
Please note that applicants should be able to attend the course in person in Copenhagen.
Applications should be submitted to co-organiser Simy Kaur Gahoonia (firstname.lastname@example.org) by end of day June 16th.
We strive to host an accessible PhD course that enables all individuals, including individuals with
disabilities, to engage fully. If you have accessibility requests please contact co-organizer Barbara Nino at email@example.com.
The readings for this course can be found below
(subject to ongoing updates)
Day 1: Literatures
- Carbado,Devon W., Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Vickie M. Mays, and BarbaraTomlinson. 2013. INTERSECTIONALITY: Mapping the Movements of a Theory. DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race 10(2): 303–12.
- Combahee River Collective.1986. The Combahee River Collective Statement. Albany, NY: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press.
- Haraway, Donna. 1988.Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege ofPartial Perspective. Feminist Studies 14(3), 575–99.
- Harding, Sandra. 1991.Introduction: After the Science Question in Feminism. In WhoseScience/ Whose Knowledge? Milton Keynes: Open University Press, p.1-16.
- Mbembe, Achille. 2019.Future Knowledges and Their Implications for the Decolonisation Project.In Decolonisation in Universities: The politics of knowledge, editedby Jonathan D. Jansen, 239-254. New York:NYU Press.
- Murphy, Michelle. 2006.Introduction. Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty:Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers, 1-18. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Subramaniam, Banu, LauraFoster, Sandra Harding, Deboleena Roy, and Kim TallBear. 2017. Feminism,Postcolonialism and Technoscience. In Handbook of Science andTechnology Studies, edited by Clark Miller, Laurel Smith-Doerr, UlrikeFelt and Rayvon Fouchï, 407-434. Cambridge,MA: MIT Press/4S.
Day 2: Methods and citational
- Andrews, Phoenix CharlieStorm. 2016. User Experience beyond Ramps: The Invisible Problem and theSpecial Case. In User Experience in Libraries Applying Ethnography andHuman-Centred Design, edited by A. Priestner and M. Borg, 108–20. New York: Routledge.
- Ahmed, Sara. 2013. MakingFeminist Points. feministkilljoys Blog. https://feministkilljoys.com/2013/09/11/making-feminist-points/
- Benjamin, Ruha. 2019.Introduction + Chapter 5: Retooling Solidarity, Reimagining Justice. In Race After Technology. Medford, MA: Polity Press.
- Cifor, M., Garcia, P.,Cowan, T.L., Rault, J., Sutherland, T., Chan, A., Rode, J., Hoffmann,A.L., Salehi, N., Nakamura, L. 2019. Feminist Data Manifest-No. Retrievedfrom: https://www.manifestno.com/.
- Dourish, P., Lawrence,C., Leong, T. W., & Wadley, G. 2020. On Being Iterated: The AffectiveDemands of Design Participation. Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conferenceon Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–11.
- Guzmán, RigobertoLara and Sareeta Amrute. 2019. How to Cite Like a Badass TechFeminist Scholar of Color. Data & Society Blog: Points. https://points.datasociety.net/how-to-cite-like-a-badass-tech-feminist-scholar-of-color-ebc839a3619c
- Mott, Carrie and DanielCockayne. 2017. Citation matters: mobilizing the politics of citationtoward a practice of 'conscientious engagement'. Gender, Place & Culture 24(7),954-973.
- Souleles, 2020. What todo with the predator in your bibliography. Allegra labBlogpost: https://allegralaboratory.net/what-to-do-with-the-predator-in-your-bibliography/
- Rosner, Daniela. 2019.Who Gets to Future? Lecture at Studium Generale Rietveld Academie. https://youtu.be/cYuOveDYXMo.
- Santamaría,Angela, Dunen Muelas, Paula Caceres, Wendi Kuetguaje, and Julian Villegas.2020. Decolonial Sketches and Intercultural Approaches to Truth: CorporealExperiences and Testimonies of Indigenous Women in Colombia. International Journal of TransitionalJustice 14(1): 56–79.
Day 3: Analysis and writing
- Barad, Karen. 2014.Diffracting Diffraction: Cutting Together-Apart, Parallax 20(3),168-187.
- Irani, Lilly, and MonikaSengul Jones. 2015. Difference Work: An Interview with Lilly Irani. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 1(1), 1-14.
- Lykke, Nina. 2014.Passionate Disidentifications as an Intersectional Writing Strategy. In WritingAcademic Texts Differently. Intersectional Feminist Methodologies and thePlayful Art of Writing, 30-47. New York:Routledge.
- Mignolo, Walter D. 2009.Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and Decolonial Freedom. Theory, Culture & Society, 26(7-8),159-181.
- TallBear, Kim. 2017. Beyond the Life/Not Life Binary: AFeminist-Indigenous Reading of Cryopreservation, Interspecies Thinking andthe New Materialisms. In Cryopolitics, edited by Joanna Radin andEmma Kowal, 179-202. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Taylor, Sunaura. 2019.Disabled Ecologies: Living with Impaired Landscapes. Lecture at UC Berkeley. https://belonging.berkeley.edu/video-sunaura-taylor-disabled-ecologies-living-impaired-landscapes.
- Smith, Linda Tuhiwai.1999. Chapter 1: Imperialism, History, Writing and Theory. In DecolonizingMethodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, 19-41. London &New York: Zed Books.
- Yuko, Louis. 2021.Decolonizing Knowledge Production: A Practical Guide. Counterpunch.https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/04/09/decolonizing-knowledge-production-a-practical-guide/
Non-required relevant readings:
- hooks, bell. 2014. bellhooks and Laverne Cox in a Public Dialogue. Seminar at The NewSchool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oMmZIJijgY&t=3550s.
- Civic Laboratory forEnvironmental Action Research (CLEAR). 2017. Value Framework + Glossary ofTerms. In Lab Book, 1-13. https://civiclaboratory.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/clear-lab-book.pdf.
- Crenshaw,Kimberle. 1989. Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A BlackFeminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory andAntiracist Politics, University of Chicago Legal Forum1(8). Dourish, Paul, and Scott D. Mainwaring. 2012. Ubicomp’s colonialimpulse. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on UbiquitousComputing (UbiComp '12). Associationfor Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 133–142.
- Freire, Paulo. 1970. Pedagogyof the Oppressed. New York and London: Continuum.
- Harris, Jessica C, and Lori D. Patton.2019. Un/Doing Intersectionality through Higher Education Research. The Journal of Higher Education 90(3), 347-372.
- Land, Clare. 2015. Decolonizingsolidarity: Dilemmas and directions for supporters of indigenous struggles.London: ZedBooks.
- Mol, Annemarie. 2016. Differences within: Feminism and us. HAU:Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6(3), 401-407.
- Moore, Kelly. 2021.Capitalisms, Generative Projects and the New STS, Science as Culture 30(1),58-73.
- Murphy, Michelle. 2017.Immodest Witnessing , Affective Economies and Objectivity. In QueerFeminist Science Studies: a reader, edited by Cyd Cipolla, KristinaGupta, David A. Rubin and Angela Willey, 177-191. Seattle & London: University of Washington Press.
- Murphy, Michelle. 2017. The Economization of Life. Durham &London: Duke UniversityPress.
- Moore, Kelly. 2021. Capitalisms, Generative Projects and the New STS, Scienceas Culture 30(1), 58-73.
- Reardon, Jenny, Metcalf,Jacob, Kenney, Martha, and Barad, Karen. 2015. Science & Justice: Thetrouble and the promise. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience1(1), 1-48.
- Roberts, Dorothy, and Sujatha Jesudason. 2013. MOVEMENTINTERSECTIONALITY: The Case of Race, Gender, Disability, and GeneticTechnologies. Du Bois Review: Social Science research on Race, 10(2), 313-328.
- Spivak, Gayatri. 1988. Can the Subaltern Speak? In Marxism and theInterpretation of Culture, edited by Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg. London: Macmillan.
- Pignarre, Philippe, and Isabelle Stengers. 2011. CapitalistSorcery: Breaking the Spell, translated by Andrew Goffey. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- TallBear, Kim. 2014.Standing with and speaking as faith: A feminist-indigenous approach toinquiry. Journal of Research Practice 10(2).
- Todd, Zoe. 2016. AnIndigenous Feminist's take on the Ontological Turn: ‘Ontology’ is justanother word for Colonialism. Journal ofHistorical Sociology 29(1), 4-22.
- Tuck, Eve & Yang, K.Wayne. 2012. Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), 1-40.
- Skewes, Lea, and Adrian,Stine Willum. 2018. Epistemology, Activism and Entanglement - RethinkingKnowledge Production: Interview with Nina Lykke, Kvinder, Køn ogForskning, 27(1) 15-31.
- Verran, Helen. 1998.Re-Imagining Land Ownership in Australia. Postcolonial Studies 1 (2):237–54.
- Verran, Helen. 2001. Scienceand an African Logic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Velásquez Atehortúa, J.2020. A decolonial pedagogy for teaching intersectionality. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE) 4(1), 156–171.
- Weber, Jutta. 2006. FromScience and Technology to Feminist Technoscience. In Handbook of Genderand Women´s Studies, edited by Kathy Davis, Mary Evans and JudithLorber, 397-414. London:Sage.
- Yusoff, Kathryn. 2019. ABillion Black Anthropocenes or None. Minneapolis: University ofMinnesota Press.