Archive for April, 2011

Dr. Kim TallBear (UCB) will be teaching a class this Spring at University of California, Berkeley, on indigenous, feminist and postcolonial approaches to science and technology projects:

This seminar introduces students to a multidisciplinary set of cases and analyses spanning fields including indigenous studies, feminist and environmental geography, cultural anthropology, natural resource management, engineering, cultural studies, and science and technology studies (STS), including especially feminist and postcolonial science studies and animal studies. This course adds to ESPM’s emphasis area within the division of Society & Environment (S&E) of Science, Technology, and Environment (STE) by bringing to the fore three overlapping approaches to analyzing science and technology projects—feminist, postcolonial, and indigenous analyses.Common to these approaches and to STS is the idea that the scientific and the social/political are always already inside one another. We will emphasize the idea of “naturecultures” as we encounter thinkers who view the world not in the more usual terms of nature vs. culture, environment vs. humans, or science vs. society, but rather as made up of humans, non-humans, and other-than-human persons who act upon one another in mutually constitutive ways. View full article »

The last decade has seen an upsurge of important scholarship in the field of “animal studies.” Under this rubric, scholars with roots in philosophy, anthropology, literature, film, biology, feminist and queer theory, history, geography, and other fields are, in some ways, attempting to recover knowledge territory claimed by and for the natural sciences in the last several hundred years. Given the disciplinary roots of this multidisciplinary field, such scholarship characteristically aims essentially to “dehierarchalize” the relationships of “westerners” with their non-human others. While this move in one sense amplifies the scope of social science and humanities inquiry, it also tends to reinscribe familiar starting points. Not least, much animal studies work can tend to restrict its attention to beings that “live,” e.g. dogs, cattle, bears, mushrooms, microorganisms. This symposium brings together scholars within animal studies who focus on queer and critical race approaches with scholars working within longer-lived strands of study—indigenous approaches to knowing “nonhumans” focused on critiquing settler colonialism and its management of nonhuman others. Some of the scholars also consider human relations with beings classed in dominant frameworks as “nonliving.” Our hope is that their conversation, together with ample opportunity for audience responses and provocations, will generate fruitful intellectual cross-fertilizations.

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