Women, Gender and Sexuality in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Feminist inquiries into the history of science, medicine and technology have contributed novel understandings of how gender structures knowledge production, and how human experiences influence the perception of scientists for the past five decades. Research that centers women and gender in science continues to shape new fields and inquiries, and the field of feminist science studies continues to expand. Yet in the history of knowledge broadly construed, scholarship on gender, sexuality or women is often a secondary characteristic of the research and regarded as a niche topic within the larger frameworks of history of medicine, history of technology or scientific discipline. Moreover, most scholarship in history of science, medicine, and technology has yet to integrate knowledge and methods from queer and trans studies. As such, historians of these fields frequently miss opportunities to convene with other scholars whose work intersects with both the history of science, medicine and technology and studies of women, gender, and sexuality. This working group provides the infrastructure for such a community, where scholars can offer feedback and discussion towards a collective reflection of scholarship touching these areas.
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May 5, 2023
“Being Natural”: Science, Environment, Sexuality and the Life of Marston Bates"
April 7, 2023
"Classification Challenges: Precarity, legibility, and gendering expert labour"
Drew Danielle Belsky
March 3, 2023
"“The Sun Tells Its Own Story:” Seeing and Unseeing the Environment Through Maria Mitchell’s Solar Photographs"
February 3, 2023
"Visceral Attraction: Dissection and Desire in Japan, 1879-1930"
January 6, 2023
"Bringing the History of Mathematics Home: Entangled Practices of Domesticity, Gender, and Mathematical Work"
David E. Dunning and Brigitte Stenhouse
December 2, 2022
Melina Packer shares a work in progress from her new project, a critical race feminist history of hunting dog breeding and training called Bred in Captivity.
November 4, 2022
"Mutual Influence: Anna Weber-van Bosse, the “Self-Organized” Network and Conceptions of Species Associations 1868-1899”
October 7, 2022
“Women work particularly well in community organizations”: Cultivating Community and Consumerism in the Comanche County REA Women’s Club, 1939-1940
Victoria Plutshack, Ashton Merck, & Jonathon Free
Emily Hutcheson is a historian of biology. Her research examines the intersections of gender with scientific practices and ideas in the history of life sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her dissertation on the history of coral reef science traces how reefs came to be seen as living communities between 1880 and 1930, through the work of a self-organized network of scientists. Her work has been published in Edge Effects and is forthcoming in the Journal of the History of Biology. She holds an MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA from Florida State University, and a BA from Yale University.
Leah Malamut is a PhD candidate in the Program for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is broadly interested in the intersections between women, gender, and non-human nature in the modern history of the life sciences. Her dissertation investigates humans and bees as co-creators of natural knowledge, a process that is reciprocally influenced by human concepts of gender and bee sex differences. She holds an MA from the University of Minnesota and a BA from the University of Chicago.
Donald L. Opitz is a historian of science whose research focuses on women, sexuality, and gender in science, especially in the context of the British Empire in the nineteenth century. His recent work analyses women’s scientific pursuits in agriculture and horticulture. He is an editor of the volumes, Domesticity in the Making of Modern Science (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and For Better or For Worse? Collaborative Couples in the Sciences (Birkhäuser, 2012). In progress is a forthcoming set of volumes, for which he serves as a general editor: Gender, Colonialism and Science: A Cross-Cultural Compendium of Primary Sources (Routledge). He is an Associate Professor in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at DePaul University.
Beans Velocci is a historian of sex, science, and classification. They are an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Sociology of Science and Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Their work uses queer, trans, and feminist methods to interrogate how classification systems become regarded as biological truths. Their first book project, tentatively titled Binary Logic, is a prehistory of cisness that looks at how sex emerged as a privileged way of sorting bodies not despite but because of its incoherence. Their work has been published in Transgender Studies Quarterly, Washington Post, and Avidly, and is
forthcoming in Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences and an edited collection called Feminism Against Cisness. Beans holds a PhD, MA, and MPhil from Yale University, an MA from the University of Utah, and an AB from Smith College.