Critical Engagements with Science(s) and Justice(s)


Kristina Lyons

Tuesdays 3:00-6:00 PM

This course places science studies in conversation with counterforensic and ethnographic methodologies, decolonial and feminist approaches, data and environmental justice, critical race and disability studies, and conflict medicine, among other topics. We will be looking at the ways that the arts, natural and social sciences, and community-oriented research agendas come together, and what tensions and possibilities these emergent alliances, intersectional modes of thinking, and practical collaborations may produce. This class offers a unique opportunity for graduate students from engineering, medical school, natural and social sciences, humanities, and the arts to learn to converse and collaborate around pressing socio-environmental issues. Emergent transdisciplinary fields, such as the environmental and medical humanities, reflect a growing awareness that responses to the environmental and public health dilemmas being faced require the collaborative work of not only diverse scientists, but also more expansive publics, including artists, urban and rural communities, and their relationships with nonhumans and materialities. Aspirations for justice and the possibilities for evidence making require translation across different practices, temporalities and scales; negotiations with the forces of extractive economic structures; and endurance within racist and colonial legacies as well as situations of everyday militarization and social and armed conflict. Throughout the course we will collectively explore moments of newly shared insight, mutual incomprehension, and partial connection between disparate actors and potentially unlikely allies. The idea is not for us to necessarily give up our disciplinary orientations, but rather to learn how to approach shared matters of concern without canceling out our differences and the generative agonisms they produce.

Spring 2021