Sp 2002 CRN#54379 STSS 6020 01, Dr. Ron Eglash, Fridays 10-12:50, Sage 5711



This course will help you develop the writing of your STS research. Each week the class will devote one hour to the collective discussion of one of your research projects. The remaining time will be spent discussing selected articles or books from the recent science and technology studies literature, representing a variety of approaches to framing and representing STS research. The final paper is due at the end of the course, but you may turn in drafts for feedback at any point in the semester.


It will be your job to get the material representing your research (anything from raw data to previous papers to new writing) to us the week before. We will all participate in generating ideas and analyses, suggestions for further research, comparative cases, questions to think about, and so on. 


Each of you should seek a faculty mentor who can advise you on your research. This will give you access to some additional expertise, and an opportunity to familiarize yourself with a faculty member.


To contact instructor:

Office Hours: Wed 11-12 and 3:00-4pm, 5114 Sage. Email:, phone: 276-2048. Course webpage:



There are three requirements: the weekly research discussions, a final written paper, and a final talk. The talk will be a formal 20-minute presentation to the entire department at the end of the semester; it should be polished and professional. The final paper should be written as a publishable essay, with a specific target audience (e.g. a journal) in mind.


Evaluation will be based on the weekly discussions (30% each), the final presentation (30%), and final paper (40%). You are required to bring the reading to class so that we can discuss the texts in detail. Do not commit plagiarism. If you do not understand what plagiarism is, please ask me. If you have any special learning needs (eg physical disability), please let me know.


Required Texts:

Becker, Howard S.  Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. Chicago: U. Chicago Press 1986.


Gary Lee Downey and Joseph Dumit (ed) Cyborgs and Citadels: Anthropological Interventions in Emerging Sciences and Technologies. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1997.


Nader, Laura, Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry Into Boundaries, Power, and Knowledge. New York : Routledge, 1996.


Penley,Constance and Ross, Andrew. "Technoculture." Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 1991.


Reader (marked by * on the syllabus).



Becker, Howard. Tricks of the Trade.


Denzin, Norman K. and Lincoln, Yvonna S., editors. Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1994. ISBN: 0761915125


 Course Schedule:

1/18: Introduction: Choosing the right voice for the right audience. Assignment of students to weeks.


1/25 No class. (will be at AAAS and NSF)


2/1 Voice 1: Just plain folks.

Becker (entire book).


2/8 Voice 2: Experiencing

*B. Latour, Laboratory Life ch 1,2.

C. Scott. “Science for the west, myth for the rest?” In Nader.

R. Rapp. “Real-Time Fetus: The role of the sonogram in the age of monitored reproduction.” In Downey and Dumit.


2/15 Voice 3: Quantifying

T. Duster, “The prism of heritability and the sociology of knowledge.” In Nader.

*M. Ascher, excerpt from Ethnomathematics. 

*D. Smith, “Interview with Sally Hacker.”

*S. Hacker, “Sex Stratification, Technology, and Organizational Change.”


2/22 Voice 4: Interpreting

P. Asquith, “Japanese science and western hegemonies: primatology and the limits set to questions.” In Nader.

H. Gusterson, “Nuclear Weapons Testing: scientific experiment as political ritual.” In Nader.

B.Claeson et al, “Scientific literacy: what it is, why its important, and why scientists think we don’t have it.” In Nader.


3/1 Voice 5: Theorizing

J. Dumit  “A Digital Image of the Category of the Person: PET Scanning and Objective Self-Fashioning.” In Downey and Dumit.

D.J. Haraway, “Mice into Wormholes.” In Downey and Dumit.

J. Lave, “The savagery of the domestic mind.” In Nader.


3/8 Voice 6: Intervening

E. Martin et al, “AIDS, Knowledge, and Discrimination.” In Downey and Dumit.

D. Heath, “A Modest Intervention.” In Downey and Dumit.

G.L. Downey and J.C. Lucena, “Engineering Selves.” In Downey and Dumit.


3/15 No class (spring break)


3/22 (shift to evening of 3/20?) Voice 7: Analyzing

R. Garofalo, “Understanding Mega-Events: if we are the world then how do we change it?” In Penley and Ross.

J. Fujimora and M. Fortun, “Constructing knowledge across social worlds: the case of DNA databases.” In Nader, Naked Science.

S. Traweek, “Kokusaika, Gaiatsu, and Bachigai: Japanese physicsts’ strategies for moving into the international political economy of science.” In Nader, Naked Science.


3/29 Voice 8: Historicizing

*R. Fouche, “Not Made for Black History Month: Lewis Latimer and Technological Assimilation.”

*R. Eglash and J. Bleecker, “The race for cyberspace: information technology in the black diaspora.”

P. Treichler, “How to have theory in an epidemic: the evolution of AIDS treatment activism.” In Penley and Ross.


4/5 Voice 9: Designing

*C. Brunner et al, “Girl Games and Technological Desire.” 

*H. Jenkins, “Voices from the combat zone: game grrlz talk back.”

D. Halleck, “Watch out, Dick Tracy! Popular video in the wake of the Exon Valdez.” In Penley and Ross.

R. Garofalo, “Black Box S-Thetix: Labor, Research, and Survival in the He[Art] of the beast.” In Penley and Ross.


4/12 Voice 1 0: Revolting

Penley, C. and Ross, A. “Cyborgs at large: interview with Donna Haraway.” In Penley and Ross.

D. Haraway: “The actors are cyborg, nature is coyote, and the geography is elsewhere: postscript to ‘cyborgs at large’.” In Penley and Ross.

Penley, C. (1991). “Brownian Motion: Women, Tactics, and Technology.” In Penley and Ross.

A. Ross, “Hacking away at the counter-culture.” In Penley and Ross.


4/19 Student presentations

4/26 Student presentations