Chemical Entanglements

UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) proposes Chemical Entanglements: Gender and Exposure (CE) as an example of innovation in Science and Technology Studies.

CE is a multiyear collaboration involving scientists, artists, epidemiologists, oral historians, environmental justice activists, disability studies researchers, and scholars of intersectional gender & sexuality studies. CE advances STS innovation across four facets:

  • A traditional symposium (national gathering of research scientists, the public, and a popular science journalist)
  • A communications/publication outreach effort (web-based media, alliances with popular press, Policy Briefs)
  • An undergraduate working group, training the next generation of STS scholars, comprising: training in survey composition, participant recruitment, and data analysis; training in archival research; training in oral history interviewing and archiving of environmental illness narratives
  • An indoor-environment & disability activist toolkit, modeling policy change and furthering an education campaign

Our display will emphasize the roots of these four facets in feminist care practices and disability activism as they inform the study of technology and science. While our first facet aligns with the infrastructural format most familiar to professional research associations (e.g., the academic conference), facets two through four emphasize our Center’s devotion to a more public-facing mission, channeling communications outreach through already existing networks of blog readership, and providing DIY policy change “tools” for advocates of better indoor air quality and disability accommodation. Some of the tools we will display in our exhibit are: Postcards with images and poems created by artist Peggy Munson in collaboration with the CSW which help viewers visualize the toxic effects fragrance A computer from which visitors can peruse the “History of Laundry Products” digital timeline, created by undergraduate researchers ( CSW’s Fragrance Free Toolkit ( Our pedagogy is aimed at cultivating the next generation of researchers, activists, and care networks invested in the study of toxic exposure. This exhibit will demonstrate how we have sought to strengthen traditions of feminist care practices and disability activism that prioritize DIY advocacy (e.g. Garland-Thomson 2005; Hughes et al. 2005), and train aspiring researchers or institutional activists (Pettinicchio 2012), who will go on to create new forms of access and opportunity.

Works Cited

Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. "Feminist disability studies." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 30, no. 2 (2005): 1557-1587.

Hughes, Bill, Linda McKie, Debra Hopkins, and Nick Watson. “Love’s Labours Lost? Feminism, the Disabled People’s Movement and an Ethic of Care.” Sociology 39, no. 2 (April 2005): 259–75. doi:10.1177/0038038505050538.

Pettinicchio, David. "Institutional activism: Reconsidering the insider/outsider dichotomy." Sociology Compass 6, no. 6 (2012): 499-510.


All rights reserved.


Created date

June 11, 2019

Cite as

Rachel C. Lee. 11 June 2019, "Chemical Entanglements", STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 29 August 2019, accessed 22 July 2024.