Anthropology of Science and Technology (APA2352.01)

David Bond

This course introduces students to the anthropology of science and technology, with fieldtrips taken into adjacent fields of inquiry like STS and the history of science. This course approaches science and technology as a history of the present; that is, as an unfolding set of epistemic deployments that is actively shaping the texture and significance of social life in the present. We will revisit some of the now classic debates that first gave analytical momentum to the study of science as well as familiarize ourselves with some key arguments that are changing the study science and technology today. Several questions will guide our inquiries: What, exactly, do scientists do? What status does scientific knowledge have? What kind of society is enacted in scientific practice and used technologies? Our readings will touch on a number of topics, including: the separation of nature from the social; the historical contexts and applications of science; techniques of scientific practice like the translation of nature, the gendered dynamics of scientific knowledge, and objectivity as a disembodied vision; and the societies and subjects that science creates. This course will tack back and forth between how anthropology has engaged and explained science and the problems that press into our lives that only science seems capable of taming like genetics, the economy, and climate change.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 2:10PM - 4:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , Advancement of Public Action , All courses , Anthropology , Four Credit , Fully In-Person