We do not know with certainty whether Noether or Goeppert Mayer could have been queer in their personal lives, had they different choices, but we know that their work produced the space for reconstituting and renormalizing indifference in mathematical physics through transgressive technoscientificity. Their epistemic contributions challenge the status quo of knowledge. They are descendants of Ada Lovelace in their privilege while also workers in the margins notwithstanding that privilege, because they are limited by a tokenistic existence.

At the same time, the queerness in the lifestyles and intellectual interests of the fictional characters in the speculative fiction discussed serves as a way for thinking through the multifaceted ways by which queer ideologies and queer knowledges can be conceived. Hence, the political contribution of feminist science fiction should involve not only the subversion of the discourse within science, but also the acknowledgement of the importance of interrogating knowledge formations in these areas with questions of social justice. We can push for the queering of science to produce a more liberatory and inclusive set of epistemic practices.

I close with a suggestion for reconsidering whether existing cultural-theoretical practices are amenable to the production of parallel interpretation of physics theories so as to meet head on with the other forms of theorizations practiced by mathematical and theoretical physicists. Or, one might consider whether there is a need for reforming these cultural-theoretical methodologies, extensive or otherwise, in specific directions before real inter-penetrative collaborations can take place.

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Clarissa Ai Ling Lee

Clarissa Ai Ling Lee is ABD in the Program in Literature at Duke. She works at the intersection of comparative media studies and science studies. Her dissertation is currently titled Speculative Physics where she attempts to demonstrate that epistemic versatility and inspiration can be found in the transdisciplinary practices of physics and literature. She blogs at modularcriticism.blogspot.com and scandalousthoughts.wordpress.com. She tweets as @normasalim.

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