chapter  1
14 Pages

Revolutionizing the Subject: Women's Studies and the Sciences

Amidst the boom in publishing , teaching and research which has accompanied the growth of western women 's studies, I it seems that less attention has been afforded to the natural sciences or technology than to other disciplinary areas. This is not to say, of course, that there has not been some significant work in these fields. Writers such as Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding and Evelyn Fox Keller, for example, have developed sustained philosophical and epistemological critiques of scientific rationality, while others, Cynthia Enloe and Cynthia Cockburn, for instance, have examined the patriarchal and manipulative usages of technology (Cockburn, 1983, 1985; Cockburn and FurstDilic, 1994; Cockburn and Ormrod, 1993; Enloe. 1989; Haraway , 1989, 1991; Harding, 1986, 1991, 1993; Keller, 1985, 1993). Further areas which have attracted attention are those of reproductive technology and genetic engineering (Arditti, Duelli Klein and Minden, 1984;Spallone, 1988, 1992;Stanworth, 1987). This is especially in relation to the ways in which women are objectified into body parts and reduced to the carriers of male genetic material. In addition to research and publications emanating from the US. Australia and Britain . important analytical and critical work on science has also emerged from European networks, such as the Danish Gender-Nature-Culture group and the feminism and science cluster of the Network of lnderdisciplinary Women's Studies in Europe (NOI S' SE) (Lykke and Braidotti, 1996; Lykke, Bryld and Markussen, 1992). In general, however, most western women's studies courses, whether undergraduate or graduate, have tended to focus their concerns on the humanities or social sciences. Science seems to have been able to maintain a stronger resistance to feminist influences and has featured less prominently on the women's studies agenda (Harding, 1986).