Workshop: Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society

This workshop brings together UWM faculty and staff who specialize in Science, Technology, and Society; in critical studies of health and medicine; and the overlap between these two fields.

Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society (STMS) is broadly interdisciplinary, comprising historical, philosophical, and social scientific approaches. STMS queries the production of scientific knowledge, the political stakes raised by scientific truth claims, and the cultural meanings and social impact of emerging technologies (biotechnologies and cyber-technologies, for example). STMS scholars study the networks of knowledge and power by which scientific authority is created and challenged. They study how communities are formed around particular scientific representations and practices.

Critical studies of health and medicine are equally interdisciplinary, but focus specifically on the social context, discourse and ideology of medicine and other health professions. This field studies how expert authority about health is established, and how it changes cultural notions of selfhood, the body, and subjectivity. It examines the "objects of medicine" (disease categories, treatments, specialties, etc.) in their full social and historical context. It asks how the border between normal and pathological is policed, and how health and sickness affect personal identity and collective action.

We read and discuss members' works in progress and key texts in the fields. The workshop provides a forum for collaborative grant writing, especially about the social impact of medical and other technological innovation, which is a priority at several funding agencies. Finally, the workshop will potentially spark plans for mini-conferences and colloquia with invited speakers from the Madison and Chicago areas.

Exemplary authors and issues: Bruno Latour, Paul Rabinow and Donna Haraway; co-production of science and society; public understanding of science; ideology of genetics; biotechnology and reproduction; globalization of health, medicine, and pharmaceuticals; history of disease; bioethics and society; environment and health; life sciences and modernity; biopower; normalization of bodies.

Fall 2010 Schedule

Friday, September 24
3 pm Sabin Hall G28
3413 N Downer Ave
Although not an official meeting, workshop participants are especially invited to attend:
Eugene Raikhal (Comparative Human Development, U of Chicago)
"Rehabilitation from Abroad: Self-transformation and the Domestication of Alcoholics Anonymous in St. Petersburg, Russia."
Sponsored by UWM Department of Anthropology and Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research
Eugene will also be available at 12 noon at the Kenwood Inn to meet with faculty.

Friday, October 8
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Sabin 281    Note room change!
Cary Costello (Sociology)
"Physical Sensation in Virtual Bodies"

Friday, November 12
12 noon - 1:30 pm Curtin 939
Please volunteer to present your work!

Friday, December 10
12 noon - 1:30 pm Curtin 939
Dr. Arthur Kleinman (Anthropology and Social Medicine, Harvard University)
Dr. Kleinman will informally discuss his latest work before making a formal presentation at 3:30 pm in Curtin 175. More details and readings to follow.

Barbara Ley, Journalism and Mass Communication
Paul Brodwin, Anthropology

Course Syllabi

Here is a list of UWM courses about science, technology and society as well as the critical study of health care and medicine: the themes of this workshop. Please consult individual professors for information about scheduling and enrollment.

GIS Day activities
Information on members' research interests
  • postal address: p.o. box 413 milwaukee, wi 53201
  • street address: curtin hall 929 3243 n downer ave milwaukee, wi 53211
  • phone: 414.229.4141
  • fax: 414.229.5964
  • email: