Intersectionality in STS: Boundary Object or Insurgent Practice?

March 21, 2019 -
2:30pm to 3:45pm

Abstract: Drawing from the sociology of science, Kathy Davis interrogates the success of “intersectionality,” explaining that “since its inception, the concept of ‘intersectionality’ – the interaction of multiple identities and experiences of exclusion and subordination – has been heralded as one of the most important contributions to feminist scholarship” (Feminist Theory 9(1) 2008, 67).  In another assessment of the concept’s travels outside of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS), authors Sumi Cho, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall distinguish between disciplines in which intersectionality functions as a boundary object, adapting to local norms and practices, and more “insurgent” applications by scholars on the margins of their fields (Signs 38 (4), 792-93).  In this presentation, feminist STS scholar, Rajani Bhatia, surveys and assesses the travel of “intersectionality” to and within Science and Technology Studies (STS).  She explores how the concept is invoked alongside other theoretical concepts and tools more commonly used in STS; if there are field specific ways in which the concept is articulated; who or what serves as the subject of intersectionality; and what axes of power and inequality are intersected.

Location and Address

602 Cathedral of Learning