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Selected Past STS Grad Courses

Tim Choy, STS 200: Ontologies, Species, Technologies: A Posthuman Tasting Menu (Theories and Methods in STS)

Survey of contemporary STS, approached and problematized through pairings of significant texts and themes. Ontological pluralism refracted through postcolonial ontological politics. Companion species entanglements read across human/nonhuman semiosis. Technological love confronted with the technologically saturated posthuman. Texts include Annemarie Mol, The Body Multiple, Stacey Langwick, Bodies, Politics and African Healing, Donna Haraway, When Species Meet, Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think, Bruno Latour, Aramis, and Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman. Other texts tbd.

Kris Fallon, STS 250, "The Long History of Digital Photography"

This course will lead students through the curiously conjoined histories of the camera and the computer by working comparatively between early accounts of the development of both technologies in the 19th century and 21st century developments in data visualization and digital imaging. Even as Photoshop and Instagram reveal the inherent plasticity of the digital image, the precise quantification that makes such transformations possible delivers on the early promise of photography as an accurate recording technology for use primarily in scientific applications. The first half of the course will be dedicated to early discourses around photography and computation, including works by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Joseph Niecphore Niepce, Dominic Arago, Edward Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey. The Second half of the course will turn to reading on digital culture and computation from the last two decades, including work by Lev Manovich, Mark Hansen, Jan Van Dijck, and Susan Murray. In addition to written works, we will also consider a range of photographic work each week.

Mario Biagioli, STS 250, "From Representation to Trace:  Contemporary Questions and Methodologies in Science and Technology Studies"

We will discuss in some detail a sample of recent science and technology studies literature clustered around three main topical clusters: (1) the questioning of representational concepts of knowledge and of traditional dichotomies between society and nature, human and non-human agency, material and intangible, and between the human and the animal; (2) the field's recent shift from epistemological to ontological concerns; and (3) practices that have only recently come under the purview of STS (financial markets, emergent fields (nano, synthetic biology), intellectual property, new media, etc).  Readings include Latour, Rheinberger, Mol, Helmreich, MacKenzie, Haraway, Rotman, Murphy, Strathern, and Pickering.

Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser (Visiting Faculty-Memorial University-Newfoundland), ANT 210, "Sawyer Seminar: Interrogating the Nature/Culture divide (concepts and methods)"

This is the first in a sequence of three graduate and faculty seminars that will be offered in the context of the yearlong Sawyer Seminar. Throughout all quarters the seminar will discuss the conceptual-methodological-political implications emerging from the interrogation of the separation between nature and culture. Specific themes/readings will vary to meet the work of the invited scholars that will our seminar discussions twice every quarter. We will meet Mondays from 4:30p-7:30p.

For Fall Quarter 2012 Seminar Guests are John Law and Arturo Escobar (October 29 and 30th); Elizabeth Povinelli and Kim Tallbear (November  20 and 21).  All will give a public talk "In conversation"" with each other and with the audience) and will participate in our private seminar to discuss their work. The former will be held on Mondays; it is open to the UC Davis community. The second event is exclusive to Sawyer Seminar participants and will take place on Tuesdays: morning and afternoon sessions. Further details will follow. If interested write to

Alan Klima and Joseph Dumit, ANT 210, "Cyborg Writing"

This is the first of a two-quarter sequence focusing on academic writing experiments (experiments that help you write, especially writing up research and fieldnotes and turning them into readable texts) and theories of and by humans, machines, writing, and cyborgs. There will be a lot of writing (see NaNoWriMo), especially in the Fall. Readings are currently being channeled in Thailand.

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