Knowing Hormones is a multi-disciplinary, extra-disciplinary, multi-genre digital archive of research and writing on hormones and their biological, medical, political, cultural, personal, and epistemological entanglements. Founded on the ethos of redistributing epistemic authority and expanding our archives of body-knowledge, this site is a product of recent scholarship in queer feminist science studies, feminist technoscience, feminist materialism, decolonial studies, posthumanism, and other critical engagements with "the stuff" of our worlds and how we know it.

The archive includes academic journal articles across science, medicine, and critical theory as well as op-eds, poetry, zines, performance art, vlogs, and other multimedia. Taking hormones as a naturecultural object of study, we look to laboratories and art studios, universities and social media, conferences and bedrooms to source this archive. We hope the proximity, synergies, and juxtaposition of these disparate body-knowledges will be generative of new insights and questions about the “hormonal,” and that it will expand in ways that further queer boundaries between nature and culture, critiquing and doing science, knowing and being.

Funding for the development of Knowing Hormones was provided by a course development grant from the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice (RHRJ) Certificate program. The course, Feminism’s Sciences1, taught by Prof Angie Willey, explores methodological possibilities for interdisciplinary materialist research grounded in critical theory’s attention to the historic and cultural specificity of the intelligibility of Science’s (and specifically Biology’s)2 proper objects. Poet, mathematician, and student of materialist philosophies, Gabe Kahan, also a Hampshire College Div III and veteran of Feminism’s Sciences, worked as web developer and research assistant on the archive.

1 Course Description: For decades feminists have insisted on the importance of thinking about science, nature, and embodiment to understanding the worlds in which we live and to imagining other worlds. I use “feminism’s sciences" here to refer to the sciences feminists have critiqued, revised, reinterpreted, and reclaimed as well as to those feminist knowledge-making projects that have been excluded from the definition of science. The class will draw the parameters of feminist sciences wide here to include epistemological, methodological, conceptual, metaphysical, and other critical-creative insights of a wide range of feminist theories and projects. We will read about feminist concerns with knowledge, power, and embodiments to explore possibilities for a contemporary queer feminist materialist science studies.

2 The capital letters indicate narrowly-defined knowledge systems legitimated by institutional gatekeeping, as opposed to more capacious understandings of (lower case, plural) sciences and biologies. For a more detailed discussion of this distinction, developed from Sandra Harding’s work, see Subramaniam, Banu, and Angela Willey. "Introduction: Feminism’s Sciences." Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 3.1 (2017).

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