BA: 2006 Southern Oregon University, Psychology
MA: 2010 San Diego State University, Sociology
Areas of Research and Teaching Specialization: Social and Political Theroy, Science and Technology Studies, Feminist STS, Sociology of Knowledge, Philosophy of Science and Social Science, Psychoanalysis
Dissertation: Critique Without Foundation: Nietzsche and the Social Studies of Science
My dissertation research appropriates the work of Nietzsche in an effort to partially traverse persistent philosophical and political tensions between normative and naturalistic approaches in the social studies of science scholarship. I make two interventions. First, I argue for the usefulness of perspectivalism as an alternative to normative (often realist) and naturalistic (often apolitically relativist and pragmatist) approaches to the social studies of science. I draw upon Nietzsche’s work to connect politically and ethically-motivated critiques of ideology with demonstrations of the partial, relative character of knowledge. In addition, my research takes up the question of the will to knowledge and truth as such. Normative and naturalistic approaches defend their otherwise disparate studies against natural scientific and traditional philosophical attacks by appealing to either the real and rational or the natural and causal character of their analyses. The questions of the value and the will to knowledge and truth as such are not raised. My working punchline is: If taken seriously, a perspectival approach to knowledge transforms questions of method and measurement into questions of politics, ethics, and aesthetics.
“Desire and Doubt - The Potentials and the Potential Problems of Pursuing Play”
Currently, I have an article under review that examines Marx’s and Marcuse’s investigations into the characteristics of, and the conditions of possibility for, expanding the experience of freedom and play. I argue that theoretical and practical attempts to render necessary work superfluous in the interests of free play must reckon with the limits of Marx’s original formulation of the possibility as well as the problematic aspects of Marcuse’s attempts to fuse the spheres of work and play together. The political question of navigating necessity remains central to all investigations concerned with expanding the possibility of free play. Inverting Marcuse’s reading of Freud through Marx, I speculate on the arational character of desire and the potentially risky and unpredictable consequences that could result from taking such an understanding of desire seriously. To what extent do particular social relations condition desire? Given non-repressive social conditions, does desire necessarily overcome irrational or socially destructive manifestations?
“The Question of Ideology in the Light of Will-to-Power – Reading Marx through Nietzsche”