Feminist Epistemologies: Critical Approaches to Biology and Psychology

Fall 2016 quarter

Taught by

marine science
  • UG


Students should ideally have taken at least 4-8 credits of science or social science coursework in the past, as this program builds on and critiques dominant scientific methodologies from a feminist perspective. This program is also appropriate for students who have a background in feminist theory or critical theory (but no science or social science) and wish to learn about scientific inquiry from a feminist perspective.

How is knowledge generated from a feminist theoretical perspective? Looking closely at the history of science and the construction of gender in biology, we will explore feminist interventions into knowledge production in these fields.

The history of women’s intellectual production and thought has long been silenced or suppressed by patriarchal structures, and to a great extent continues today through institutionalized sexism, androcentrism, and heteronormativity. This program will provide an opportunity for upper-level students familiar with mainstream methodologies within the natural sciences who wish to examine feminist critiques of such epistemologies and engage in research through a critical lens.

We will read feminist philosophy of science, sociological studies on science and how it operates in society, research on women scientists, and critical deconstructions of sociobiology and the related field of evolutionary psychology. Possible topics to be examined through feminist lenses are developmental biology, fertilization, reproduction, sex determination, sexuality, and gendered social norms. Possible authors include Emily Martin, Evelyn Fox Keller, Sandra Harding, Donna Haraway, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Stacy Alaimo, Cordelia Fine, Marlene Zuk and Karen Barad. Research will be conducted in the lab and in the field, which, for marine and developmental biology will include local marine field sites.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology gender and women's studies philosophy of science psychology sociology

Preparatory For

gender studies, biology, science historian, bioethics, science and technology studies.


Fall Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting : Tuesday, September 27 at 10am (Sem II C3109)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$35 for reader.


2016-10-25Fees reduced (from $150 to $35).
2016-06-06Fee has increased.