This issue of The Scholar & Feminist Online, edited by Patrick Keilty and Leslie Regan Shade, investigates the complex entanglement of technical systems with the human and non-human elements they were built by, for, within, and against. Recognizing the visible roots of dominant technologies—from biological waste removal to internet infrastructure—in the demands of the state, the military, and the corporation, these authors surface and incite alternative engagements. Arising from a seven-month colloquia series held in 2013–2014, “Feminist & Queer Approaches to Technoscience,” at the University of Toronto, this issue looks at the vast landscape of “science and technology” and pays close attention to what gets cast off, left behind, or pushed out in attempts to produce a tidy disciplinary image of useful and objective discourse.
In “Traversing Technology,” scholars drawn primarily from the arts and humanities offer close readings of the multifaceted histories, consequences, potential adaptations and mutilations of scientific and technical productions. Uniting these diverse sites of inquiry is the necessity of movement in order to understand or act—the refusal of a god’s eye view frozen in one all seeing perspective. The authors refuse a physical/virtual division, as they map the monstrous meanings of suburban homes, dive into scatalogical biopolitical governmentalities, surface the long gendered pre-history of selfie culture, celebrate trans people of color’s poetic stitching of social wounds, trace the frequent construction of Asian Americans as racialized machines, link the prescient wisdom of the Combahee River Collective to the ways internet architecture imperils black lives, generate new opportunities to infect technology with viral feminist knowledges, and offer up the parasite as a model for our relationship to social networks.
As the editors write in their introduction, these essays navigate “issues of equity and social inclusion, race and racialization, intersectionality, the discriminatory impacts of surveillant assemblages, and the fate of feminist and queer techno-futures”—with important repercussions for our present decisions. Drawing on decades of feminist work in science and technology studies, these authors mark a new path through shifting terrain.