Reproductive relations. Production of gendered meanings in the field of reproduction
The project studies the production of gendered meanings – that is, cultural conceptions of femininities and masculinities, motherhood and fatherhood, female and male bodies – within the context of reproduction and gendered relations. Reproduction is a crucial site of gendered meaning making, taking place in public policy as well as in private relations, and it is a site where gender is generally constructed in terms of difference between biological bodies. The project design will cover three important changes in reproductive relationships: the production of masculinities associated to men as fathers, the blurring of nature and culture related to assisted reproduction, and the new matrimonial law as a step to normalising parenthood among same-sex couples. These changes are combined with certain established rights: the almost uncontested right of women to control their fertility, the focus on gender equality, and men’s strong position as fathers. These dimensions mark the crossroads that we will enter, theoretically and empirically, and where the particular Norwegian context provides a unique field internationally.
Picturing the Brain: Perspectives on Neuroimaging
The research project Picturing the Brain: Perspectives on Neuroimaging seeks to deepen our understanding of the epistemological roles neuroimaging technologies play in the conduct and communication of medicine and science. The primary objective is, more precisely, to develop a fine-grained understanding of socio-cultural and ethical issues that arise in relation to current applications of these technologies, as they are put to use as cognitive tools, as perceptual prostheses, and as visual rhetoric. To pursue this goal, we will carry out interactionist in-depth studies of the design and use of two key applications of neuroimaging, brain mapping and neuronavigation, proceeding from these to questions concerning computational brain modelling and simulation in science. The project will also investigate prospects and issues relating to the persuasive force of neuroimaging against the background of the current overwhelming demand for brain images. This includes exploring issues relating to neuroenhancement and to the ways that neuroimaging reframes the brain-mind relationship, fostering deep changes in how humans perceive themselves.
The project is interdisciplinary and allows researchers with backgrounds in media studies, philosophy, digital media engineering, medical imaging, neuroscience, and creative arts to work together on specific tasks in varying configurations. The research is divided into three work packages focusing, respectively, on cognitive, prosthetic, and rhetorical functions of neuroimaging. A fourth package takes the form of a project laboratory for experimenting with different modes of integrating science, technology and society through artistic interventions.
Project leader: Prof. Aud Sissel Hoel, Dept. of Art and Media Studies, NTNU
More info: http://picturingthebrain.org/
Interfaces of Art and Biotechnoscience
The doctoral project Interfaces of Art and Biotechnoscience studies the collaborations between artists and specialists of biotechnoscience, in the creation of bio art. How is the relationship between scientific researchers, technicians and artists negotiated and organized? There is a diversity of possibilities as to these relationships, depending on the nature of the artwork and the context of its creations. Adherence to different epistemic cultures is expressed in a variety of ways in the process of creation. Which of these tend to be perceived by the audience, in the reception of bio art? Does their focus tend to be on formal (aesthetic), technical (scientific) or conceptual (artistic) aspects of the artworks? In biotechnoscience, the issues of bioethics are prominent in public considerations of emerging technologies and new knowledge. Should bioethics be an issue in the consideration of bio art?
PhD project, Nora Sørensen Vaage, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen