Zoe Sofoulis: Gender and Infrastructure - feminism, philosophy, and the knowledge ecology of urban water
|Dates:||16 October 2017|
|Times:||16:30 - 18:00|
|What is it:||Lecture|
|Organiser:||School of Environment, Education and Development|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Current University students|
|Speaker:||Dr Zoe Sofoulis|
Zoë Sofoulis, from the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, is an interdisciplinary researcher who initially worked in science fiction and cyberfeminist studies, then turned to practical applications of qualitative cultural research and humanities perspectives in fields where technology and engineering predominate, especially urban water management. She has led partnership projects to study household water practices, user-provider relationships, and how urban water management connects with cultural and social research. Her published papers have helped define a cultural and sociotechnical perspective on metropolitan water and demand management, while householder water diaries that she co-designed have been adapted and used by other researchers. Dr Sofoulis is affiliated with the TWENTY65 water research consortium and will be a keynote speaker at its April 2018 conference. Her most recent publication is with Dena Fam in the journal of Science and Engineering Ethics.
In the first part of her research career, Dr Sofoulis explored topics around feminism, technology, science fiction and cyberculture. More recently she has focussed on developing cultural research on urban water management without saying much about feminism or gender. As a corrective to her recent ‘crypto-feminism’, this talk highlights three feminist angles on issues of water infrastructure:
- Sociological – ‘women and —‘ questions; social, political and cultural concerns, such as women’s access to and control of water (and other resources), the impacts of infrastructure (or its lack) on women’s everyday lives, women in water research and governance.
- Phenomenological – container theory; feminist philosophy of technology interpretation of Big Water as Big Mother.
- Epistemological – feminist standpoint theory and a pluralistic appreciation of the knowledges, methods and evidence valued in water resource and infrastructure management.
The tricky question—to be opened up for discussion—is how to make these angles relevant and practical for water planning and management.
The School of Environment, Education and Development is delighted to welcome Dr Sofoulis, whose visit is being funded by the Simon/Hallsworth Visiting Professor scheme.
Dr Zoe Sofoulis
Role: Simon/Hallsworth Visiting Professor
Organisation: Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University
Travel and Contact Information
Humanities Bridgeford Street