Contested Universality (2010 – 2011)
Contested universality: the extension of scientific knowledge and its limits. In an age of digital information and cultural globalization, it would seem that scientific knowledge should circulate seamlessly. And yet such knowledge bumps up against limits: cultural barriers, alternative knowledge claims, and ethical objections. Under this rubric we ask: What enables and what blocks knowledge from circulating? To what extent is the production and reception of scientific knowledge shaped by local cultural and institutional contexts? We will engage in historical and comparative reflection on the circulation of knowledge in order to analyze both how scientific knowledge extends itself, and the limits to such extension.