Gender Studies | Problems in Gender Studies: Gender, Race & Science
G402 | 11724 | Stein, M


Long fascinated with differences between human beings, scientists
have had a crucial role in the construction of race, gender, and
sexuality. Scientists have continually driven or challenged cultural
understandings of these categories, but scientific inquiry has
similarly been shaped by the scientists’ existing ideas about human
difference, capacities, and power. Moreover, scientists have never
worked in isolation or without contestation. The individuals or
groups under scrutiny have by turns internalized or actively
challenged scientific categorization, resisted medical control, or
demanded treatment. In other words, scientific inquiry—and its
reception in the wider society—is a product of its specific
historical and cultural context. For that reason, while focusing
somewhat on the United States, this course is transnational and
trans-historical in scope, prioritizing comparison and selective
case studies over comprehensive study of a specific time or place.
Through assigned readings, class discussions, and written work,
students will explore how conceptions of race and gender both
construct and are constructed by science and medicine.  We will
interrogate how and why scientific knowledge is produced, and
examine the dynamic relationship between science and its (raced and
gendered) subjects.