How is expertise produced, disseminated, controlled and challenged? How do experts combine knowledge, common-sense, analytics, argument, lifestyle, character? How does expertise write itself into power--or submission? Through what moves does expertise become rulership? What is the work of disciplinary formations and the professions in reproducing practices of knowledge-making and professional judgment? How ought one to go about mapping the political implications of expertise, and how interpret the stakes in choosing an expert vernacular? We will read and discuss literature from social theory, from law, and from science and technology studies which bears on these questions, alongside case studies of "expertise" in action in a variety of professional, scientific, and lay settings. Cross registration by students from other University departments strongly encouraged. Requirements: students will be expected to prepare and participate in weekly discussions and write a final essay.
The seminar is open by permission of the instructors. Those interested in enrolling should address a short statement to one of the two instructors describing their interest. Also offered by the Law School as 2082. Please note, this is a jointly offered course hosted by another Harvard school and, accordingly, students must adhere to the academic and attendance policies of that school.