Epilog

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.

References (Entire piece)

  1. Alic, M. Hypatia’s Heritage: A History of Women in Science from Antiquity Through the Nineteenth Century. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986. Beacon Press.
  2. Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
  3. —-. “Living in a Posthumanist Material World: Lessons from Schrödinger’s Cat,” in Anneke Smelik and Nina Lykke (eds.) Bits of Life: Feminism At the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology (2008), Seattle & London: University of Washington Press, 2008.
  4. —. “Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Relations of Inheritance: Dis/continuities, SpaceTime Enfoldings, and Justice-to-Come.” Derrida Today 3.2 (2010): 240–268.
  5. Belcastro, Sarah-Marie, and Jean-Marie Moran. “Interpretations of Feminist Philosophy of Science by Feminist Physical Scientists.” NWSA Journal 15.1 (2003): 20–33.
  6. Beller, Mara. “The Sokal Hoax: At Whom Are We Laughing?” Physics Today Sept. 1998. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
  7. Brown, Laurie M. Renormalization: From Lorentz to Landau and Beyond. Berlin: Spring-Verlag: 1993.
  8. Byers, N., and G. Williams. Out of the Shadows: Contributions of Twentieth-Century Women to Physics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  9. Byers, Nina. “The Life and Times of Emmy Noether: Contribution of Emmy Noether to Particle Physics” Newman, Harvey B., and Thomas Ypsilantis (eds). History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics. Vol. 352. New York: Plenum Press, 1996. Proceedings of a NATO ARW B. 945-65.
  10. Charman-Anderson, Suw, ed. A Passion for Science: Stories of Discovery and Invention. Self published through findingada.com. 2013.
  11. Close, Frank E. The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe. New York: Basic Books, 2011.
  12. Collins, Harry. “Mathematical Understanding and the Physical Sciences.” Case studies of expertise and experience 38.4 (2007): 667–685.
  13. Deleuze, Giles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. B. Massumi. London: Continuum Impacts, 2004.
  14. Dick, Auguste. Emmy Noether: 1882-1935. Boston: Birkhäuser, 1981.
  15. Ferrell, Robyn. Copula: Sexual Technologies, Reproductive Powers. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006.
  16. Fraser, Gordon. The Particle Century. Bristol: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1998.
  17. Frost, Samantha. “The Implications of the New Materialisms for Feminist Epistemology.” Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science: Power in Knowledge. Dordrecht: Springer, 2011. 69-83.
  18. Gabor, Andrea. “Einstein’s Wife . Mileva’s Story | PBS.” Einstein’s Wife. Oregon Public Broadcasting. 24 Sept. 2007. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
  19. Galison, P. Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics. University of Chicago Press, 1997.
  20. Gilmore, Robert. Alice in Quantumland. New York: Copernicus Books, 1995.
  21. Grasswick, H.E., ed. Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science: Power in Knowledge. Dordrecht: Springer, 2011.
  22. Gregory, Frederick. “Intersections of Physical Science and Western Religion in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Ed. Mary Jo Nye. Cambridge University Press, 2002. 36-53.
  23. Gribbin, J.R. In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality. New York: Bantam Books, 1984.
  24. Griffiths, David. Introduction to Elementary Particles. Weinheim: Wiley VCH Verlag, 2008. Physics Textbook.
  25. Haraway, Donna. J. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Free Association Books Limited, 1991.
  26. Harding, Jan, and British Association for the Advancement of Science. Section X. Perspectives on Gender and Science. London: Falmer Press, 1986.
  27. Harding, Sandra G. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.
  28. Hoddeson, Lillian et al., eds. The Rise of the Standard Model: A History of Particle Physics from 1964 to 1979. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  29. Jardins, Julie D. The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science. Women Writing Science. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2010.
  30. Jones, Gwyneth. Life. Seattle, WA: Aqueduct Press, 2004.
  31. Kaiser, D. Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  32. Keller, Evelyn Fox. A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1983.
  33. Kragh, H. Quantum Generations: A History of Physics in the Twentieth Century. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2002. History and Philosophy of Science.
  34. Kuhn, Thomas S. Oral History Transcript — Maria Goeppert Mayer. 20 Feb. 1962. Transcript.
  35. Lee, Clarissa AL. Quantum Genesis. 2012. An Electronic Literature in Performance. Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Conference. Web. September  29, 2012.
  36. ——. “Schrödinger’s Notebook.” Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments. Ed. J.C. Augusto et al. Vol. 10. Amsterdam, Berlin, Tokyo, Washington DC: IOS Press, 2011. . Workshop Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent Environments 7.
  37. ––––. “Schrödinger’s Notebook: Shifting Real.” Journal of Technological Forecast and Social Change. Special Edition on Creative Science Fiction Prototyping. Eds Gary Graham and Victor Callahan. (October 2013 – corrected proof available).
  38. Lykke, N., and R. Braidotti, eds. Between Monsters, Goddesses, and Cyborgs: Feminist Confrontations with Science, Medicine, and Cyberspace. Zed Books, 1996.
  39. Mann, Robert. An Introduction to Particle Physics and the Standard Model. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, 2011.
  40. Maxwell, James Clerk “On Faraday’s Line of Force.” Thomas K. Simpson (ed.) Maxwell on the Electromagnetic Field. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1997. 55-138.
  41. Mayer, M.G., and J.H.D. Jensen. Elementary Theory of Nuclear Shell Structure. New York & London: John Wiley & Sons, 1955.
  42. “Maria Goeppert Mayer – Biographical.” The Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
  43. McNeil, Maureen, “Roots and Routes: the Making of Feminist Cultural Studies of Technoscience,” Bits of Life: Feminism at the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology, Seattle & London: University of Washington Press, 2008, 16-31.
  44. Mehra, Jagdish, and Helmut Rechenberg. The Historical Development of Quantum Theory. 6 vols. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986.
  45. Mozkowski, Steven A (2006), “Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972),” Out of the Shadows, Eds. Nina Byers and Gary Williams, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 202-212.
  46. Neuenschwander, Dwight E. Emmy Noether’s Wonderful Theorem, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2011.
  47. Panda, N. C. Maya in Physics. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1991.
  48. Parisi, L. Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Bio-technology and the Mutations of Desire. London & New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, 2004. Transversals: New Directions in Philosophy Series.
  49. Plant, Sadie. Zeros + Ones: Digital Women + the New Technoculture. London: Fourth Estate, 1998.
  50. Plotnitsky, A. Epistemology and Probability: Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and the Nature of Quantum-Theoretical Thinking. New York & Dordrecht: Springer, 2009. Fundamental Theories of Physics.
  51. Porter, Roy, and Mary Jo Nye. The Cambridge History of Science: Volume 5, The Modern Physical and Mathematical Sciences. Cambridge Histories Online. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  52. Randall, Lisa. Warped Passages: Unravelling the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions. Penguin Adult, 2006.
  53. Randall, Lisa. Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.
  54. Reiche, C., and V. Kuni, eds. Cyberfeminism. Next Protocols. New York: Autonomedia, 2004.
  55. Rotman, B. Mathematics as Sign: Writing, Imagining, Counting. Writing Science Series. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000.
  56. Schweber, S.S. QED and the Men Who Made It: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  57. Simpson, T.K. Maxwell on the Electromagnetic Field: A Guided Study. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1997.
  58. Smelik, A., and N. Lykke, eds. Bits of Life: Feminism at the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology. University of Washington Press, 2008.
  59. Sokal, Alan D. “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” Social Text 46/47 (1995): 217–52.
  60. Sokal, Alan D. The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.
  61. Srinivasan, B. et al. 1983. Emmy Noether in Bryn Mawr: Proceedings of a Symposium Sponsored by the Association for Women in Mathematics in Honor of Emmy Noether’s 100th Birthday. Springer London, Limited, 2011.
  62. Stuewer, Roger H. “An Act of Creation: The neitner-Frisch Interpretation of Nuclear Fission.” HQ–3 Third International Conference on the History of Quantum Physics. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. 2010.
  63. Weinert, F. Laws of Nature: Essays on the Philosophical, Scientific and Historical Dimensions. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1995.
  64. “Women in Physics: The Gazette.” American Physical Society Sites. 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *