Critical Perspectives on Science

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Critical Perspectives on Science

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Gender Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

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    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    COURSE OBJECTIVE
    1. Knowledge of the feminist critiques of science (gender), and of critiques of science from the perspectives of race and intersectionality;
    2. Insight in the way in which these perspectives structure the student’s own discipline;
    3. Practicing the skills to critically question texts from the perspective of gender, race, and sexuality;
    4. Practicing the skills to define and defend an argument and communicate the research conclusions verbally and in writing to an educated audience of different disciplines in a clear and unambiguous manner;
    5. Practicing the skills to perceive a problem from different disciplinary fields;
    6. Practicing your presentation and writing skills.

    COURSE CONTENT
    This course introduces diverse critical perspectives upon science that are developed from feminist, race, and intersectionality theory. In the first four weeks, on the basis of key articles in these fields (such as Harding, Haraway, belle hooks, Crenshaw), the different perspectives will be introduced, as well as the most important debates in these fields that form the backbone of this minor: the sex/gender debate, the problem of the relationship between gender and race theory, the intersectional framework. The course does not only aim at introducing the perspectives theoretically, but also at self-reflection by the students. In two weekly seminars the students will work at relating these perspectives to their own discipline. The seminars aim at developing a critical perspective upon the central texts in the student’s discipline The course will start in the first period and will end in period 3. The seminars will take place every two weeks, during the entire semester. The final course assessment will take place in period 3: students will give a presentation at the closing symposium of the minor and write a paper in which they demonstrate to be able to analyze from the angle of gender and diversity a subject/text/film/book from their own discipline.

    TEACHING METHODS
    Lectures and seminars (active learning groups).

    TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
    - Three short papers of 800-1000 words (divided over the semester) (30%; 10% per paper)
    - Presentation at closing symposium (period 3) (10%).
    - Paper (end of period 1), of 2000 words (60%).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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