Feminism and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Minor | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Feminism and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Minor

(FSTEM)


Prof Jin Montclare with two women students in lab

The Feminism and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (FSTEM) minor trains students to have a critical understanding of the ways that difference and diversity, including gender, race, nationality, class, and ability, shape and are shaped by modern science and technology. Courses for the minor introduce students to the history of women in STEM, the construction of scientific theories of gender and racial difference, queer theory, designing for diversity, and the relationship between gender and disability. Feminist and other student-centered pedagogies encourage students to connect course content to the real world through in-class activities, independent research, writing assignments, engagement with community organizations, and design briefs.

In contemporary STEM fields, professionals must be equipped with the knowledge and tools to identify and decrease bias and unfairness in the design of technical systems, like AI and large-scale infrastructure projects. This minor, open to all Tandon students, prepares students to face these challenges head on and change the world for the better.

The minor consists of 16 credits, or 4 courses, offered by the TCS department. There is 1 required course, Introduction to FSTEM. The other 3 should be chosen from the list below.

Curriculum

This course introduces feminist theory as a foundational methodology for critically investigating of the fields of STEM. Feminist theory is not a political ideology nor an analytic framework limited to “women’s issues,” but an important way of asking questions about how hierarchies of power including gender, race, class, and disability, relate to the funding, research directions, and accessibility of science, technology, and engineering. While thinking through how STEM conforms to and creates social systems of difference, students in this course will learn how to apply feminist theory to contemporary case studies, examining issues of practice, ethics, social justice, and inequality in STEM.


4 Credits Disability Studies CAM-UY2204
This course dynamically engages students in the world of disability. As a member of a team including a guest consultant with a disability, students will discover that person's interests, abilities, and desires and portray them with digital storytelling. This active learning approach, carefully guided by the instructor, is enhanced with readings, guest lectures, videos and field trips. Students will learn about disability history, assistive technology and universal design. The end-of-semester is celebrated with a formal presentation of the person-centered projects. The aim is to show the individual, making the "invisible visible." Satisfies a HuSS Elective.
Prerequisites: Completion of the first-year writing courses.
4 Credits Science and Sexuality STS-UY2224
This course explores and analyzes the constructions of sexuality in the biological, social and medical sciences, focusing on issues in evolutionary biology, endocrinology, neuroscience, psychiatry, comparative anatomy and genetics. Throughout the semester, students compare the various meanings given to sexuality across disciplinary frameworks, paying attention to the increasingly unstable relationships between the categories of fiction and science, reproduction and sexuality, nature and culture, male and female, animal and human and hetero- and homosexuality. The class also assesses how expert scientific discourses influence popular understandings of sexuality and vice versa. Specifically, students examine how these understandings contribute to the normalization and official regulation of certain kinds of behavior, how they satisfy a desire for stories about human origins, and how they fashion terms of attraction, repulsion, affection, antagonism, dominance and submission according to which sexuality is putatively expressed.
Prerequisites: Completion of first year writing requirements. Co-requisites: None. Notes: Satisfies a HuSS Elective.
4 Credits Science and Difference STS-UY3204
This course critically examines the various frameworks through which science operates to construct difference in living populations. It analyzes the logistics of classification as they pertain to modern empirical science and situates classificatory practices in their historical and cultural contexts. Particular attention is paid to the interplay between scientific research and historical episodes of cultural anxiety concerning the nature and significance of human differences based on race, gender, ethnicity and sexuality.
Prerequisites: EXPOS-UA 1 or EXPOS-UA 4. Notes: Satisfies a HuSS Elective.
4 Credits Science and Feminism STS-UY3214
This course will introduce students to feminist perspectives from the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS). Scholars from anthropology, sociology, history, and philosophy of science are studied to gain insight on how gender and race affect the practice of science and how we come to think about facts, progress, modernity, and our technological and scientific worlds. Students are expected to become familiar with the basic theories, concepts, and questions of STS and will learn to apply critical feminist theory to analyze the day-to-day practice of science.
Prerequisite(s): One Level 2 STS Cluster TCS Elective

STS-UY 2904 Special Topics in STS: Diversity in Technology 
STS-UY 3904 Special Topics in STS: Queer Studies of Technoscience 
DM-UY 9103 Special Topics in Digital Media: Designing the PostNatural 
DM-GY 9103 Special Topics in Digital Media: Designing ‘Other’ Worlds 
DM-UY 9103 Special Topics in Digital Media: Critical Wearables 
DM-UY 9103 Special Topics in Digital Media: Living With Robots