Maya Livio and Lori Emerson. 2019. "Towards Feminist Labs: Provocations for Collective Knowledge-Making.” In Critical Makers Reader. Loes Boger and Letizia Chiappini eds. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.
The proliferation of interdisciplinary labs over the last years is difficult to ignore. Whether such labs function as physical spaces for work or as more decentralized collectives, the recent ubiquity of the lab as a model for research and practic suggests that scholars and practitioners are actively pursuing new modes of knowledge production—modes that are experimental and often collaborative. The methods, infrastructures, and underlying assumptions of labs, however, are often inherited from exclusionary, privileged, and colonial lineages. These handed-down affordances, together with the relationships labs have with their overarching institutions and funding bodies, have inevitably shaped the kinds of work that labs produce and the metric by which their performance has been measured. This paper briefly outlines a history of labs and argues that labs are unique sites of collaborative knowledge-making requiring specific tactics for equitable research practices. It applies feminist approaches to lab work and lays out a set of practical strategies for making labs more just.
RESEARCH THEMES: FEMINIST TECHNOSCIENCE, FEMINIST METHODS, INTERDISCIPLINARY METHODS