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. Grounding this course is the idea that dichotomous thinking about humans vs. nature has gone hand-in-hand with scientific practices that have privileged the views and realities of particularly “First World” men at the expense of the views and realities of historically marginalized social actors including indigenous and other non-western humans, women, and LGBTI people and cultures. Troubling the nature/culture dichotomy—taking fuller account of the cultures that ground all science—is necessary if science and technology projects are to become more democratic and if they are to meet the needs of more of the worlds’ people and non-humans.By focusing on non-Western and feminist approaches to science and technology, we can expand upon and refine the already critical insights of western and not-explicitly feminist STS scholarship. A goal of this seminar is also to bring a more diverse array of students to consider the roles of science and technology in larger feminist, indigenous, and postcolonial projects. This is a less than typical approach to doing science studies. There is room especially for greater encroachment by postcolonial and indigenous approaches within the broader field. And I see those as especially conducive to conversations with feminist scholars of science and technology. Thus a triad of approaches provides our framework this semester. Finally, in our interrogation of science and technology projects we will turn our critical gaze back on ourselves and our own historically contingent research to analyze our methodological and theoretical choices. We will emphasize generous and productive analyses and critique with each other.


Download below to read the full Syllabus:

(2011). “Indigenous, Feminist, and Postcolonial Approaches to Science, Technology, and Environment Syllabus ESPM263”. Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UCB.

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