Women, Gender and Sexuality in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Feminist inquiries into the history of science, medicine and technology have contributed novel understandings of how gender structures knowledge production, and how human experiences influence the perception of scientists for the past five decades. Research that centers women and gender in science continues to shape new fields and inquiries, and the field of feminist science studies continues to expand. Yet in the history of knowledge broadly construed, scholarship on gender, sexuality or women is often a secondary characteristic of the research and regarded as a niche topic within the larger frameworks of history of medicine, history of technology or scientific discipline. Moreover, most scholarship in history of science, medicine, and technology has yet to integrate knowledge and methods from queer and trans studies. As such, historians of these fields frequently miss opportunities to convene with other scholars whose work intersects with both the history of science, medicine and technology and studies of women, gender, and sexuality. This working group provides the infrastructure for such a community, where scholars can offer feedback and discussion towards a collective reflection of scholarship touching these areas.

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Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Thursday, March 7, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EST

    Lucas René Ramos, "From Sodomy to Heterosexual Incapacity: Governing “Sexual Deviancies” in Italian Catholic Sexology (1952-1978)"


  • Thursday, April 4, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

    Diana Anselmo, "To Love so Much it Hurts: 'Bad Feelings,' Medicine, and Movie-Mad Female Audiences in the 1910s"


  • Thursday, May 2, 2024 11:00 am to 12:30 pm EDT

    Leah Malamut, "Sisters of the Beekeeping Fraternity: American Women in Apiculture, 1870-1920"



Past Meetings

  • February 1, 2024

    Co-sponsored session with the HSS Women's Caucus
    This month, we will hear from Rebecca Onion, a visiting scholar of history at Ohio University and a senior editor at Slate.com. Dr. Onion is the author of Innocent Experiments: Childhood and the culture of popular science in the United States. UNC Press, 2016. She will speak to us about writing history of science for a wider public audience. 
    We will also use this time as a workshop for public pitches. If you have an idea you would like to pitch to a popular press, join us as we think about how we can work to get history of science, and especially issues of women, gender, and sexuality, to a wider audience. 


  • December 7, 2023

    Aisling Shalvey, "'I didn't think I could survive it... The bleeding was stopped completely': The role of women, gender and sexuality in biomedical experiments during National Socialism"


  • November 2, 2023

    Yingchen Kwok, "Can Protozoa Die? On Heredity and Reproductive Futurity in Late Nineteenth-Century German Biology"


  • October 5, 2023

    Nelson Jiajie Meng, "Beyond Cultural Translation: Syphilis Medical Advertisement in Shun Pao"


  • May 5, 2023

    “Being Natural”: Science, Environment, Sexuality and the Life of Marston Bates"
    Megan Raby


  • April 7, 2023

    "Classification Challenges: Precarity, legibility, and gendering expert labour"
    Drew Danielle Belsky


  • March 3, 2023

    "“The Sun Tells Its Own Story:” Seeing and Unseeing the Environment Through Maria Mitchell’s Solar Photographs"
    Allison Fulton


  • February 3, 2023

    "Visceral Attraction: Dissection and Desire in Japan, 1879-1930"
    Kandra Polatis


  • January 6, 2023

    "Bringing the History of Mathematics Home: Entangled Practices of Domesticity, Gender, and Mathematical Work"
    David E. Dunning and Brigitte Stenhouse


  • December 2, 2022

    Melina Packer shares a work in progress from her new project, a critical race feminist history of hunting dog breeding and training called Bred in Captivity. 
     

     

     


Group Conveners

  • lmalamut's picture

    Leah Malamut

    Leah Malamut is a PhD candidate in the Program for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is broadly interested in the intersections between women, gender, and non-human nature in the modern history of the life sciences. Her dissertation investigates humans and bees as co-creators of natural knowledge, a process that is reciprocally influenced by human concepts of gender and bee sex differences. She holds an MA from the University of Minnesota and a BA from the University of Chicago.

     

  • samanthamuka's picture

    Samantha Muka

    Sam Muka (she/her) is an assistant professor of STS at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Her first book, Oceans under Glass: Tank Craft and the Sciences of the Sea was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2023. Her current work explores the history of artificial reef and coastal restoration projects in the coastal United States.

     

  • mkwolken's picture

    MaryKate Wolken

    MaryKate is a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota (HSTM). Her developing work investigates the construction and role of the reproductive female body in the post-Enlightenment Iberian-Atlantic world; in a larger sense, she is intrigued by questions that interrogate health, medicine, and gender. She has earned a MA from the University of Minnesota and holds a BA from Creighton University.

     

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