Current Graduate Courses

STS Graduate Courses 2018-19

The list below is currently being updated. For more information about current courses, please contact Prof. Colin Milburn ().

Fall 2018


STS 200: Theories and Methods in Science and Technology Studies
Instructor: Tim Choy
M 11:00am-2:00pm, SSH 1246, CRN: 40913
This graduate seminar focuses on theories and methods in science and technology studies (STS). Students will be introduced to major authors, works, and movements that have shaped the interdisciplinary field of STS, attending to intersections of the history and philosophy of science, the anthropology and sociology of science, and literary and cultural studies of science. Students will gain a strong foundation in a variety of STS approaches and concepts: constructivism; sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK); actor-network theory; gender studies of science; rhetoric and semiotics of scientific writing; scientific trading zones; experimental systems; and others. The seminar is designed for graduate students interested in adding STS methods to their scholarly toolkits. 


STS 250: Queering Cure
Instructor: Jeanne Vaccaro
T 9:00am-11:50am, SSH 1246, CRN: 43060
Building on the insights of queer of color critique, crip theory, and transgender studies, this interdisciplinary seminar considers the interconnections of bodies and the sciences of dis/ability, race, sex, and gender. We will conceptualize “cure” alongside questions of toxicity, ecosexuality, neurodiversity, animacy, disaster capitalism, and what artist Carolyn Lazard calls “the age of autoimmunity.” Readings include: Britt Rusert, Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture; Kyla Schuller, The Biopolitics of Feeling; Riley Snorton, Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans; Heike Bauer, The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture; Rachel Lee, The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosocioality, and Posthuman Ecologies; Mel Chen and Dana Luciano, Queer Inhumanisms.


CRI 200B: Critical University Studies: Brands, Metrics, Excellence, and Globalization
Instructor: Mario Biagioli
M 4:10pm-7:00pm, SSH 1246, CRN: 43126
We engage some of the theoretically sophisticated literature addressing the rise of the neoliberal or corporate university.  After a brief discussion of the rise of the model of the research university in the 19th century in Europe and the US, we analyze the current crisis of that model and the developments it has spawned.  A few foci will guide the discussion of this broad terrain:  the concern with university branding, the rise of the discourse of excellence, the adoption of metrics and quantitative indicators, and the globalization/franchising of elite western universities, and the growing concern with intellectual property.  Readings include William Clark, John Marx, Robert Meister, Sally Merry, Chris Newfield, Michael Power, Bill Readings, Shelia Slaughter, Marilyn Strathern, Sam Weber.


Winter 2019


STS 205: Texts, Maps, Networks, and Numbers: Computational Approaches in the Humanities and Interpretive Social Sciences
Instructor: Emily Merchant
This seminar will introduce graduate students to computational approaches in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. Using the R programming language, we will analyze and visualize textual, spatial, network, and numeric data. We will consider how these modes of analysis can help us pose and answer valuable research questions, and we will interrogate these approaches from a critical perspective grounded in science and technology studies. No prior experience necessary.


STS 205: Faciality
Instructor: Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli
With the invention of photography, cinema, and computational media the face has come to signify intensity and power (Deleuze), the bearing of the soul (Balasz), individuality (Lacan), truth, beauty, ideas (Barthes), and interiority as well as the most basic support of intersubjectivity (Levinas). Yet contemporary facial technologies allow us to inhabit other people’s faces and to modify our own. This course will examine the how the history of perception has been entangled with the image (eidolon) of the face, haptics (Descartes), and the neural processing of emotions, examining how the face came to be considered the interface between reception and expression. The course will consider how optical and visual technologies have transformed the way we think about and interact with the face. Readings from Plato, Kepler, Descartes, Darwin, Galton, Duchenne, Münsterberg, Balasz, Levinas, Flusser, Ekman, Deleuze and Guattari, Doane, Steimatzky, Gates, Galloway, Pearl, etc.).


Spring 2019


STS 250: Hacker Cultures
Instructor: Colin Milburn
W 9:00am-11:50pm, SSH 1246, CRN: 92765
This graduate seminar will examine the history of computer hacking and hacker practices, focusing on the cultural resources that have helped to shape hacker communities and their mythologies. Significant hacker events, documents, technologies, and exploits will be studied alongside a collection of science fiction narratives and video games that have been influential among hackers. The political dimensions of hacking—from hacktivism (Cult of the Dead Cow, Anonymous, LulzSec) to state-sponsored cyberwarfare—will be considered in relation to technical issues, addressing hacking as a form of technopolitics. The seminar will also introduce methods and techniques in digital ethnography, digital humanities, and critical code studies. 


STS 205: Bodies, Embodiments, Affects, Movements
Instructor: Joe Dumit
W 2:10pm-5:00pm, SSH 1246, CRN: 92999
What can bodies do? Whose bodies are we talking about? How can we study training? How can we remake learning? Practices and readings in STS, decolonial, feminist, black studies, queer, and performance studies theory.