Critical Perspectives on Science


Course Objective

1. Knowledge of the feminist critiques of science (gender), and of
critiques of science from the perspectives of race and
2. Insight in the way in which these perspectives structure the
student’s own discipline;
3. Practicing the skills to critically question texts from the
perspective of gender, race, and sexuality;
4. Practicing the skills to define and defend an argument and
communicate the research conclusions verbally and in writing to an
educated audience of different disciplines in a clear and unambiguous
5. Practicing the skills to perceive a problem from different
disciplinary fields;
6. Practicing your presentation and writing skills.

Course Content

This course introduces diverse critical perspectives that
are developed in the context of feminist, race, and intersectionality
theory. In the
first four weeks, on the basis of key articles in these fields (such as
Butler, Haraway, belle hooks, Crenshaw), these perspectives
will be introduced, as well as the most important debates in these
fields that form the backbone of this minor: the sex/gender debate, the
problem of the relationship between gender and race theory, the
intersectional framework. The course does not only aim at introducing
the perspectives theoretically, but also at self-reflection by the
students. In two weekly seminars the students will work at relating
these perspectives to their own discipline. The seminars aim at
developing a critical perspective upon the central texts in the
student’s discipline The course will start in the first period and will
end in period 3.

Teaching Methods

Seminars: in the first four weeks twice a week, after that once every
two weeks, during
the entire semester. The final course assessment will take place in
period 3.

Method of Assessment

- Three short papers of 800-1000 words (divided over the semester) (30%;
per paper)
- Presentation at closing symposium (period 3) (10%).
- Paper (end of period 1), of 2000 words (60%).


- R. Alsop, A. Fitzsimons, K. Lennon, Theorizing Gender. Cambridge &
Malden: Polity Press, 2002 or later edition (2003, 2005, 2006, 2012).
- Texts by Butler, Crenshaw, Haraway, hooks will be made available at

Target Audience

The course is at Bachelor 3 level and open for VU-students from

General Information

Course Code W_CPOS
Credits 6 EC
Period P1+2+3
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. J.M. Halsema
Examiner dr. J.M. Halsema
Teaching Staff dr. J.M. Halsema

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: