Transforming Gender and Power: Mediating Science/Fiction & History/Memory
This course aims to introduce different articulations of new feminist theories about the complex interaction of gender, culture, and power today. Very inter-disciplinary in orientation, this two-week course presents approaches from the humanities and the social sciences.
The first cluster of the NOISE Summer School evolves around the theme Science Fact, Science Fiction: Feminist Stories of Popular Media, Visual Culture & the Scientific Imaginary. Under this headline will we explore the intersection of science, technology and popular culture in both a creative and a critical way.
Doing so we will use feminist theory in order to navigate. Feminist theory is then here not used as a fixed position, but rather as a set of interpretative techniques or analytical tools. The assumption here is that there are hardly any topics or phenomena to which feminist approaches or analytical tools are not relevant.
The intertwined issues of race/ethnicity/nationality, sexuality and gender at individual, societal and cultural-symbolic level are here also considered intrinsic to feminist theory. And such relevant feminist approaches are here to be discovered within the overlapping fields of science and technology studies and cultural studies (visual studies, popular culture studies and science fiction studies).
We will investigate scientific imagery and popular representations of science with a focus on embodiment, identity and politics of representation.
The second cluster, Mediating Memories and Histories: Gendered European Identities, focuses on history and memories as location for the search for women’s changing and shifting identities. Lectures and assignments will address the different ways in which women have been located in history.
You will learn about the gendered politics of memory and history, you will read and reflect on the way imperialism in different forms has dominated European history, and on the effects of migration, war and welfare on gender relations. You will be invited to write about a woman from your past, a “foremother” whose life is remembered in many different ways.
You will think and write about her life, the ways in which she is remembered, her relation to the history of your country, the way she is or is not included in canonized history.
You will lean about the different ways in which memories are “mediated” via history books, family stories, museums, literature, and digital technologies. The cluster closes with a virtual and real exhibition celebrating your findings as your personal contribution to writing women’s history.