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PhD scholarship Philosophy, Technology & Gender

The new Graduiertenkolleg KoMMa.G (Konfigurationen von Mensch, Maschine und Geschlecht/Configurations of Human, Machine and Gender), hosted by Technische Universität Braunschweig and others in Germany, offers 15 interdisciplinary PhD-scholarships for 3 years at the interface of Humanities, Engineering, Gender Studies and STS. Deadline for application: 1 September 2016.

Please see all details on the clusters, the projects and the modes of application at https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/kommag (English version of the website is on the way)

Among the scholarships is one dedicated to philosophy of technology and STS:

Steely and flexible: On the materiality of steel and its configuration of gender in engineering

Scarcely another processed metal signifies coded masculinity as does steel. Steel is somehow a different matter and likewise a matter of making difference: it is the classical material of the machine and the weapon. Women still rarely enter the professional domains of processing the raw material iron ore and thus the „heavy industries“. However, the gender codes of steel are ambivalent and fragile: Steel results from melting, i.e. it has to be fluid and formable. And thinking of usage and social domains, the tin is handled in the female coded realms of the supermarket and the household.

The project aims to identify the concerned philosophical differences of matter/form, rigidity/flexibility, the different semantics of „material“ and the relations of steel-related discourse, gender and materiality. A comparison with other gender-encoded materials (e.g. glass) is possible. Methodologically, the project aims at interrelating philosophy with Science and Technology Studies and Gender Studies (e.g. from the perspectives of philosophy of science or philosophy of technology). The project will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Nicole C. Karafyllis (Philosophy) and cooperates with the Institute of Steel Engineering (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Thiele) at Technische Universität Braunschweig.

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