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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Spring 2010

ANT 324L • Science, Technology, & Race

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30345 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
EPS 2.136

Course Description

Scientific research and technological innovations are developed in social contexts and respond to social interests and desires. Race fundamentally informs the social influences that influence the production of technology and the pursuit of science. This course examines the multiple intersection and linkages between race, science, and technology. We begin by reviewing the array of current anthropological and sociological studies of science, which regard science as an institutionalized set of cultural practices charged with generating objective knowledge of the world. But in addition to generating knowledge, the practice of science often has drastic effect on social life. In this regard, we then turn to surveying the lkong history of "scientific racism" experiments conducted to validate the racist notions held by Europeans and Americans regarding peoples of color. In particular, we will consider how “data” was constructed in these various experiments. The second half of the course will survey the numerous ways that scientific endeavors and creations are reconfiguring racial formations in the US and around the globe. These include: environmental racism, genetic “harvesting and collecting” (of humans and seeds) and intelligence testing.

Grading Policy

This will be a writing intensive course, with three short assignments (5 pages each) and one lengthy research paper (10 pages)


Epistemic Cultures: How the sciences make knowledge, Cetina Testing Women, Testing Fetuses: The social impact of amniocentesis in America, Rapp Race in Cyberspace, Kolko et al Flexible Bodies: The Role of Immunity in American Culture, Martin Science and Technology in a Multicultural World, David Hess Remaking Life and Death: Towards an Anthropology of the Biosciences, Franklin & Locke A required reader is available from Abel's Copies.


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