Events Calendar

16 Jan
Sex Contextualism
Event Type

Lectures, Symposia, Etc.



Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students


humanities, Humanities Center, GSWS


University Unit
Humanities Center

#Humanities Center

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Sex Contextualism

The Humanities Center welcomes our Visiting Fellow Sarah Richardson (Harvard University, History of Science and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality).  Her respondents will be Yoel Sadovsky (School of Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences) and Michael Dietrich (History and Philosophy of Science).

Sarah Richardson is a historian and philosopher of science who studies the sciences of sex, gender, sexuality, and reproduction. Richardson directs the Harvard GenderSci Lab, a collaborative, interdisciplinary research lab dedicated to generating concepts, methods, and theories for biomedical research on sex and gender.


Do HeLa cells have a sex?  The past decade has seen the rise, under the slogan "Every Cell Has a Sex,” of new scientific disciplines – such as “sex-based biology” and “gender-specific medicine” – centered on the study of sex.  Much like “race,” scientific uses of “sex” also interact with the concept of sex in social ontology. As such, scientific uses carry implications for our everyday assumptions about sex and gender roles and for normative projects to bring about gender justice. Through historically and philosophically sensitive analyses of the concept of sex as it is operationalized in experimental research settings, I develop an account of sex as a contested theoretical construct pinned to research context and open to conceptual debate.  

For the pre-circulated reading, please click here for access to the Google Drive. 

Thursday, January 16 at 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Humanities Center, 602
Fifth Avenue at Bigelow, Pittsburgh, PA 15260