Topic outline

  • Gender and Technology

    a cap with a plastic cup and a smartphone on a bench photo credit by Maija Savolainen


    Louna Hakkarainen
    Kaisa Karvinen

    Where & When
    22.4.–10.6.2021 (no session on 13.5.)
    Thursdays 15.15–18.00

    Zoom & Padlet

    Zoom / sideroom

    Course Description
    Gender and Technology course is a space for collaborative learning and a facilitated reading group, where students can develop critical skills for analysing science, technologies and the process of design through a gendered lens as well as their own practice as designers, engineers, artists, researchers etc. The course consists of pre-readings (e.g. academic texts), facilitated group discussions, guest lectures, group and individual work (e.g. blog posts and learning diary).

    Examples of themes that will be covered during the course:

    • Introduction to gender studies and feminist theories of technology: What is technology? How do we think about technology in relation to history? What does the feminist analysis bring to technology studies?

    • Technology as culture: What role does technology play in embedding power relations? What is the connection between machines and masculinity?

    • Technology as gendered: How do technologies reflect gender divisions and inequalities? How are power relations embedded in the technology itself?

    • Cyberfeminism: Does the virtuality of cyberspace spell end to the embodied basis for sex difference? What does the cyborg metaphor seek to communicate? How are people’s lives entwined with technologies?

    • Technofeminism: How do gender and technology mutually shape each other? And how technology and society constitute each other? What kinds of effects does marginalisation of women from the technological community have?

    Learning Outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this course, students…

    • Are familiar with how feminism has contributed to social studies of technologies, science and design.

    • Understand that technologies and scientific facts are not neutral and don’t evolve according to an inherent technological or scientific logic, but that they are shaped by diverse social factors including gender.

    • Are able to critically evaluate promises and pitfalls of new technologies to diverse groups of people and to examine different artefacts and their histories through a gendered lens.

    Course Schedule

    Pre-reading materials provided a week prior to each session

    22.4. 15.15–18.00 Opening of the course
    29.4. 15.15–18.00 Introduction to feminist technoscience

    6.5. 15.15–18.00 Male designs on technology
    20.5. 15.15–18.00 Technoscience reconfigured 

    27.5. 15.15–18.00 Virtual gender 
    3.6. 15.15–18.00 Xenofeminism

    10.6. 15.15–18.00 LARP

    Total: 81h
    of which

    lectures 21h

    individual work 45h

    reading articles and watching movies in total 25 h

    preparation for the coming session 5 h ()

    learning journal 1–2 page/session, in total 15 h 

    (send the learning diary before on 10th of June)

    group work 15h

    (Middle assignment 5 and LARP preparation 10 h)

    Grading and Assessment

    The assessment of this course is pass/fail. To receive a pass and the 3 ECTS, students are expected to:

    • attend 6 sessions

    • prepare to sessions with the provided materials

    • participate actively in class

    • write a learning diary

    • produce a group project to be presented in the last session