Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

851-0101-59L  Science and Masculinities

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersB. Schär
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractMen have always been over-represented in the sciences. Why is this so? This seminar inquires how male supremacy in science evolved and transformed historically in different places around the world. How was and is science linked to particular images of manliness? How did and do women and non-conforming men around the world nonetheless succeed in doing science?
ObjectiveStudents will become familiarized with the history of science from the perspective of gender history. Gender Historians understand male dominance in science not as natural phenomenon, but rather as feature in need of historical inquiry and explanation.
The aim of this seminar is therefore to examine different ways historians analyse and explain historical and ongoing male overrepresentation in the sciences. By reading case studies from different parts of the world, students will be able to evaluate firstly how male overrepresentation was and remains linked to legacies of western and middle-class dominance in science. Secondly, they will also explore how women and non-conforming men nevertheless succeed(ed) in science at different historical points in time.
Students will have the opportunity to select a topic from the ETH Zurich's gendered history and write an essay on how masculinity and gender operate(d)s in our university.
ContentThis seminar treats male overrepresentation in the sciences as a phenomenon in need of historical explanation. Reading case studies from around the world, students will be able to asses how male overrepresentation was and remains linked with legacies of western and middle-class dominance in the sciences. Student will analyze aspects of this history in the case of ETH Zurich in a term paper.