KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Caitlin McDonough-Goldstein
KLI Colloquia
Dissecting Female: Towards a Queer Feminist Approach to Research on Sexual Reproduction
Caitlin McDONOUGH-GOLDSTEIN (University of Vienna)
2022-04-28 15:00 - 2022-04-28 16:30
Organized by KLI

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Topic description / abstract:

Although the variable nature of sex is tacitly recognized by many scientists, the imposition of binary sexes in research can be observed and experienced across scientific practices. For example, the enforcement of sex categories can be seen in the processes of "sexing" individuals or analyzing sex differences. This talk emerges from the discomfort of perpetuating these practices while finding my identity as a queer person. I draw upon scholars from various disciplines to develop an understanding for how I, as a scientist, relate to the context and consequences of scientific authority on "sex". I explore the many ways in which scientific definitions of sex are not adequate to encompass the diversity of biological systems and reflect the imposition of "compulsory sexuality" found in colonial European cultures, as described in Asexual theory. The current blossoming of work by scientists to change and challenge the existing dogma of sex from within science is exciting and encouraging, especially when paired with alternative knowledges for the use (or disuse) of sex.


Biographical note:

Caitlin McDonough-Goldstein is a queer, feminist scientist studying the evolution of reproductive systems. They are currently a postdoctoral research at the University of Vienna and received their PhD from Syracuse University, their research has focused primarily on the imagining the evolution and function of interactions within the "female" or ovary-associated reproductive tract. Complementary to their research, Caitlin engages with critiques of science from STS and queer theory (among others) to question scientific norms around how science constructs understandings of sex and reproduction.