SHOT Joint Session

Making and Doing History: On Non-Traditional Modes of Critical Engagement


Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal

UC Davis

Crystal Lee



Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal

UC Davis

Session Abstract

Feminist STS scholars Frances Bronet and Linda Layne suggest that we should not “sit back and offer post facto critiques of new technologies, but [instead]... intervene to proactively influence design” (“Teaching Feminist Technology Design,” 179). Historians of science and technology are particularly well-positioned to intervene in this way, and in fact have already been doing so. This unconventional session, a mixture of roundtable and guided group discussion, will highlight such work and offer a space for collective reflection to discuss methods that mobilize our historical research towards a future that is anti-racist, feminist, and inclusive. During this session, the panelists will share their critical making and activist projects and introduce how their historical research informs this work. These projects take many forms: multimedia design exhibitions, participatory design projects, critical mappings, public humanities and activist approaches to teaching history, and beyond. Much of this work follows the recent slew of prominent scholarship
Each panelist will present a brief (5 minute) introduction of their work, but the majority of the session will be devoted to a facilitated discussion by the organizers that will form the basis of a “best practices” document that shows how historians can better center social justice and critical making practice in historical research. The organizers will take extensive notes during the discussion and compile the group’s insights into a public-facing document. In this facilitated discussion format, the organizers hope that this panel can provide the SHOT community with a template for “engaged scholarship” that directly pushes back on traditional academic spaces which privilege few perspectives and enforce audiences to largely receive, rather than contribute, to a session’s content.

Presenter 1

Crystal Lee


Presenter 2

Laine Nooney


Presenter 3

Mar Hicks

Illinois Institute of Technology

Presenter 4

Bess Williamson

Art Institute of Chicago

Presenter 5

Whitney Pow


Presenter 6

Xiaochang Li

Stanford University