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Measuring the Mind: Gender, Race, and Technologies of Difference

This course interrogates the relationships between gender, race and the practices of the psychological sciences from the 19th century to the present. Rather than focus on the discoveries, diagnosis, or effects of psychological knowledges, this course attends to the methods used by researchers in the 19th and 20th century. Our reading and discussion will focus on primary texts such as Darwin, Charcot, Freud, and Fanon as well as feminist engagements with these technologies of difference such as Showalter, Haraway, Gilman, and Rose. The course will be organized by three modules: Technologies of Observing the Mind, Technologies of Hearing the Mind, and Technologies of Testing the Mind. In each instance we will examine the practices of measuring the mind as a way to understand modern theories of gender and race. As a final activity the class will take a field trip to a now closed psychiatric hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia to interact with the spaces and technologies of mental illness in the 20th century.

Rachel Weitzenkorn

PDF: Weitzenkorn-SLSA-syllabus.pdf

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