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Fall 2023 Seminar

Knowledge As Power in Law and Science

Prerequisite: By permission. Interested students should send one of the faculty a short statement of interest.

Exam Type: No Exam

Evaluation is a final take home essay.

How do ideas about law and science shape the contours of the contemporary world? Knowledge underwrites legal authority – but how exactly? How do ideas about what is natural, right or ordained become powerful, hegemonic? Both law and science rely on experts to define the basic coordinates by which we locate ourselves and recognize each other, as members of collectives, actors in institutions, and selves possessing subjectivity. But how does each conceive the other’s role, and affirm or resist it? In this course, we will read and discuss literature from social theory, law, and science and technology studies that bears on these questions, alongside case studies that illuminate expertise in action in a variety of professional, scientific, and legal settings.

Note: This course is jointly-listed with HKS.