Natura serves as a forum designed to foster critical interdisciplinary conversations about history, cultures, places, and theories of science, epistemology, and knowledge production.
We provide a forum for students to interrogate the study of science and epistemology across the humanities and the sciences. The working group considers various topics of importance within science and technology studies and philosophies and sociologies of science, including but not limited to literary, historical, critical, and philosophical engagements with science and scientist practices across a broad historical span, from the medieval period through the sixteenth-century and into the present, and between different cultures, places, spaces, and species. The group considers how the development and production of scientific knowledge across global networks is constituted as objective knowledge and fact. The working group seeks to understand epistemologies and ontologies across the globe, including indigenous, alternative, subaltern, and emerging epistemologies and ontologies from multiple cultures and traditions. The working group welcomes work that engages with critical theoretical perspectives such as feminism, decolonial theory, post-colonial theory, affect theory, and posthumanism, among others.
Natura helps students develop their research projects by critically exploring various methodologies and theoretical frameworks of inquiry and also, more practically, provides a space to discuss and revise their ongoing work. It also fosters a community for researchers of science and epistemology within the university, and allows members of the working group to engage with leading scholars in their fields of interest.
Natura is generously supported by the Rutgers British Studies Center (RBSC) and by the Rutgers Graduate Student Association (GSA).
Reading Group and Internal Workshops: Natura serves as a forum for students' development of their own research, providing them with new theoretical frameworks and helping them revise their writing. Members additionally create ongoing reading groups based on topics drawn from the interests of the group. Each semester, Natura also workshops a dissertation chapter or a work-in-progress that a member is revising for publication.
Invited Lectures and Workshops: Each semester, the group invites speakers from many different disciplines, either for a lecture or to workshop a pre-circulated paper, in order to explore the diverse range of approaches to the study of science. The two different formats enable students in the working group to engage with the work of established scholars at different stages of completion.
Graduate Student Conference: Natura plans a yearly graduate student conference developed around the interests of current members of the working group. In addition to a prominent keynote speaker, it features organized graduate student panels, with participants from different disciplines both inside and outside Rutgers.
Click the links below to view previous years' conferences:
2019-2020: Virtual Ecologies
2018-2019: Resistance and Disruption
2017-2018: Illegitimate Knowledges
2016-2017: Knowledges in Contact
2015-2016: Costs of Abstraction
2014-2015: Envisioning Science
2013-2014: Scientific (R)evolutions
2012-2013: Science Fiction & Fictions in Science