Provisional Curriculum Next Year (2021–22)
Please note that the curriculum next year is provisional and may change.
(Please note that the new curriculum changes are subject to Senate approval)
Core Courses (Fall 2021)
These required courses will introduce incoming MA (5001) and doctoral (6001) students to the major texts and theoretical strands of Science and Technology Studies, in their historical context. Such strands include the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK), Actor Network Theory (ANT), Laboratory Studies, Social Construction of Technological Systems (SCOT), as well as feminist, post–colonial and cultural studies of science and technology. Students will read and discuss such foundational texts as Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Ludwig Fleck’s Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, Shapin and Schaffer’s Leviathan and the Air Pump and Latour and Woolgar’s Laboratory Life. While engaging with these and other key texts, students will build a common vocabulary and theoretical framework for examining specific sites of knowledge production and practice in science and technology. Through a combination of empirical case studies and theoretical reflections, students will grapple with those themes – such as epistemology, objectivity, expertise, relativism, materiality – about which the field of STS makes important scholarly and practical contributions.
Core Courses (Fall & Winter 2021)
The Colloquium provides students with a regular forum to engage with Program members as an intellectual community, generating an important cohort effect for new and continuing graduate students. It involves a range of activities designed to stimulate a broad disciplinary engagement with science and technology studies, including research talks by invited external speakers, Program faculty and graduate students, and professional development workshops (e.g. how to get published, academic and alt-academic job markets, etc.). It runs every two weeks over two terms.
Research Cluster fosters theoretical and methodological innovation on Technoscientific Injustices. Involves biweekly meetings of faculty and graduate students who engage in a range of activities: e.g. presentations by faculty and students; external speakers; sessions on methodologies and new literature; professional development; and non-traditional practices such as public science, activism, and internships. They embed broader program requirements in an experimental, flexible, adaptable, and interdisciplinary intellectual space.
Research Cluster fosters theoretical and methodological innovation on Bodies: Organic, Inorganic, Technological. Involves biweekly meetings of faculty and graduate students who engage in a range of activities: e.g. presentations by faculty and students; external speakers; sessions on methodologies and new literature; professional development; and non-traditional practices such as public science, activism, and internships. They embed broader program requirements in an experimental, flexible, adaptable, and interdisciplinary intellectual space.
Elective Courses (Term to be Confirmed)
A seminar devoted to exploring gender, sexuality, and sex in the development and application of technoscience. It addresses how scientists have both conceptualised and deployed (or ignored) sex and gender as explanatory concepts throughout the course of their disciplinary practices. Key questions to be addressed include: What role have women played in the development of science and technology, and how has technological change affected the roles of women and ideas of gender? How does technology offer possibilities for new social relations and how should we evaluate these possibilities? Can technoscience be gender-neutral?
The course examines the social, political, economic, and cultural shaping of digital technoscience – ranging from digital platforms through smart cities to self-driving cars – paying particular attention to how different visions of and expectations about the future are enrolled in the deployment of digital technoscience in the present. Rather than assume that the promises of diverse digital technoscience are reshaping our societies, however, this course starts from the premise that digital technoscience reflects prevailing social institutions, structures, and imaginaries. As a result, students critically interrogate claims of inevitability, solutionism, and acceleration in the promotion of digital technoscience. For example, it unpacks how digital technoscience is entangled with financial rhetoric and logics, how digital technoscience reinforces existing prejudices and discrimination, and how digital technoscience cements rather than challenge political power.