Session 2: Biomedical technologies
Topic outline & prep infos
- Fri, 10 May 2019, 11:00–16:00
In this session, we will engage with the domain of biomedicine and how it is political. We will discuss how biomedical technologies are entwined with hierarchies of power, and we will consider how marginalised groups may fight back against these entwinements.
- read: Preciado, Paul [Beatriz]. (2013). Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era. New York: The Feminist Press, pp. 173–215.
- read: Preciado, Paul [Beatriz]. (2013). Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era. New York: The Feminist Press, pp. 55–67.
- reflect on your own experiences with biomedical experts (e.g. doctors) and substances: How were they involved in constructing your gender, racial, sexual, etc. role?
Guiding questions for the required preparation
- How can biomedical technologies serve to control marginalised groups?
- How can biomedical technologies be re-appropriated and used against the grain?
- How do you feel about the processes described in each of the two chapters?
Suggestions for peer teaching
- Challenging expert control
- Boston Women’s Health Collective (1970). Women and Their Bodies. Available at: http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/cms/assets/uploads/2014/04/Women-and-Their-Bodies-1970.pdf
- Boston Women’s Health Collective & Norsigan, J. (2006). Our Bodies, Ourselves. New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Engaging biomedical experts
- How is expertise distributed between experts and laypeople? Can activists intervene in biomedical fields?
- Epstein, S. (1995). The Construction of Lay Expertise: AIDS Activism and the Forging of Credibility in the Reform of Clinical Trials. Science, Technology & Human Values, 20(4), 408–437.
- McCray Beier, L. (2004). Expertise and Control: Childbearing in Three Twentieth-Century Working-Class Lancashire Communities. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 78(2), 379–409.
- Making emancipatory artefacts
- Can specific biomedical tools be explicitly feminist/queer/etc. – or explicitly masculinist/heterosexist/etc.? How can we influence the political potential of artefacts? (Suggestion: Think about tools or other objects in the domain of biomedical technologies that have a political character.)
- Akrich, M. (1992) The de-scription of technological objects. In: Bijker, W.E. and Law, J. (Eds) Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change, pp. 205–224. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Hasson, K. A. (2012). Making appropriation “stick”: Stabilizing politics in an “inherently feminist” tool. Social Studies of Science, 42(5), 638–661.