CFP: Session IV ISA Forum of Sociology – “Body, Gender, Health and Sexuality: Producing Medical Knowledge and Ignorance”

July 14-18, 2020, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Session Organizers :

Anne-Charlotte MILLEPIED, EHESS, France and University of Geneva, Switzerland (

Déborah GUY, EHESS, France (

Camille BAJEUX, University of Geneva, Switzerland (

Call for papers

In this session, we would like to explore the production of ignorance – agnotology – in empirical studies on health and the body, with a focus on social relations of power, especially regarding gender and sexuality. Epistemologies of domination have indeed demonstrated that power relations rest on the production of partial knowledge – and ignorance – that allows their invisibilization or their naturalization ; processes that STS have documented in several scientific and technological settings. Therefore, we wish to reexamine the relevance of this perspective to the study of social worlds surrounding health, sexuality and the body.

We draw on the collective work of Robert Proctor and Londa Schiebinger and more precisely on feminist and antiracist epistemologies of ignorance developed by Nancy Tuana, Sharon Sullivan and Charles W. Mills.

We would like to raise the following questions: Who benefits from knowledge and who benefits from ignorance? Who pays the price of ignorance? What mechanisms produce, through discourses and practices, groups of people as non-knowing subjects? How does the production of ignorance configure power and resistance relations? How is the production of ignorant subjects an efficient tool for the reproduction of inequalities and power relations?

If the production of ignorance is not always related to power relations, oppressive systems most often rely on ignorance. Therefore, we would encourage papers to explore power relations and their intersections, such as gender, class, race, age, or ability, through the lens of the production of ignorance.

RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology (host committee)
Language: French and English
Session Type: Oral

See full CFP here.

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Posted: September 18, 2019