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Introduction FSDW

Hello all,

My name is Clarissa Lee and I am now in the twlight zone of being recently defended and about to make my final submission of the dissertation and being officially an ECR by September 2014. As such, some of my interests, despite still being transdisciplinary (I have decided to move out of the interdisciplinary mode for now for multiple reasons), have also shifted, and I would like to use this time to develop a research that I have gotten interested in since last year but had not been able to pursue for pragmatic reasons.

I am currently developing a research proposal on race, gender and the hard sciences, especially in the mathematical and physical sciences (one might include computational sciences into the mix, though I am trying to keep the project manageable and sufficiently narrow so as to be able to go deep). Therefore, I am trying to venture into discourse of race, minority positions, and their impact/contributions on dominant versus epistemology. My dissertation research has been about high energy particle physics, and the intersection of its epistemology with all the other areas of relevant physical and quantum physical sciences, and I have been reading quite a lot of oral historical accounts on the subject that were largely written, with rare exceptions, by white men. I got interested in the question because of the way these writers, who were also physicists (theoretical and experimental) connect to their educational background, training, mentors, and the dominance of particular ideas within particular groups at any point in time, and their indirect indication of certain power-relations and acts of serendipity at play that are also a reflexive referent to all the other just-mentioned categories.

Right now, I am trying to develop the best research methodology for this project while still doing more historically-inflected literature review in areas of feminist epistemologies, race theories, theories on minorities and decolonization, and gender and sociology of sciences. Of course, I am interested in reading up more on what the anthropologists are doing in tackling versions of this research. At the end of the day, I see this project as being historically-driven but with the potential for informing policy on STS and gender at the end of the day. Therefore, i am interested in learning what sort of digital tools historians have used to help them map and organize archives that might not always be in one place, or coherent; or archives that do not necessarily address directly the research questions that they have.

It also tries to problematize the dominant beliefs in mostly non-feminist philosophies that consider any social interventions into the epistemologies of such abstract sciences to be non-productive.





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