My areas of specialization are philosophy of the social and historical sciences, specifically archaeology, and feminist philosophy of science. I'm interested in how archaeologists establish knowledge claims about the cultural past, and in whether (or in what form) ideals of objectivity can be sustained given feminist arguments for recognizing the central role that contextual values play in the research process. In both cases, I argue, the answers lie in an analysis of evidential reasoning. To explain how evidential constraints operate in archaeology I have developed models of analogical inference, hypothesis testing, and strategies of triangulation and scaffolding that turn on the use of background knowledge. And to explore the epistemic role of standpoint-specific interests and contextual values in the sciences, I am currently engaged in a study of feminist research programs in the social sciences.
News and Current Projects
SWIP Distinguished Woman of the Year - 2013
recently honored as the 2013 Distinguished Woman Philospher of Year by the Society for
Women in Philosophy. For podcasts and photos from the SWIP award session at the December 2013 Eastern Division APA meetings in
Baltimore, click here.
Durham University, Department of Philosophy
I am delighted to be joining colleagues at Durham University; I accepted a one-third appointment in the Department of Philosophy this past summer and will be in residence for the Fall term 2014. Durham University is home to the Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage (CHECH), and the newly established Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS).
Upcoming visit to ANU - April-May 2014
I will be a Visiting Fellow in the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University for four weeks this April and May. The Centre for the Foundations of Science at the University of Sydney is organizing a workshop on "Evidence in Historical Science: Rock, Bone and Ruin" while I am in Australia (May 8-9, 2014).
Evidential Reasoning in Archaeology: Best Practices and Object Lessons
A case-based project on norms of evidential reasoning embodied in archaeological practice. This is a collaborative work in progress with Robert Chapman (Archaeology Department, University of Reading): a monograph, From the Ground Up: Evidential Reasonong in Archaeology (Bloomsbury), and an edited volume, Material Evidence: Learning from Archaeological Practice (Routledge) inspired by the 2010 Leverhulme Workshop on Evidential Reasoning at Reading University.
Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage - iPinCH
A seven-year SSHRCC-funded Major Collaborative Research Initiative, hosted by Simon Fraser University. The goal of this project is to document and address intellectual property issues in cultural heritage raised by emergent local and global interpretations of culture, rights, and knowledge. I am a member of the iPinCH research team and co-chair, with Sonya Atalay (University of Massachutesetts, Amherst), of the Research Ethics Working Group.
Science Studies Network - SSNet
An interdisciplinary forum for colleagues at the University of Washington who share interests in science, technology and society studies (STSS), founded in Fall 2007. SSNet supports a range of STSS initiatives, most recently a BioSecurities working group (2013-2014), a two-year series of colloquia, workshops and summer research consortia onBiological Futures in a Globalized World (2011-2013; see below) and, in past years, a speaker series on "Representations in Science" (2009-2010), and a biweekly colloquium on "Democratizing Science" (2008-2009). Currently active nodes in our local network include a weekly Colloquium in History of Science and STS, and a Philosophy of Science reading group.
Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable
I am a founding member of the Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable and have served on the annual meeting program committee with Paul Roth (University of California - Santa Cruz) and James Bohman (St. Louis University) since the inception of the Roundtable in 1998, now joined by Mark Risjord (Emery University), Steven Turner (University of South Florida) and David Henderson (University of Nebraska, Lincoln). We co-edit an annual Roundtable special issue of Philosophy of the Social Sciences. We convened the March 2011 meeting of the Roundtable in Paris which proved to be a catalyst for the formation of the European Network for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. ENPOSS now sponsors an annual conference and every second or third year we co-sponsor a joint ENPOSS/Roundtable. I will be hosting the next Roundtable at the University of Washington in May 2015 - check back for updates!
for Advanced Study, University of Durham (UK): I was
a Visiting Fellow at IAS in the Fall term 2012, where I joined a
of scholars working on topics related to the annual theme of “Time."
American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division
I served as President of the APA Pacific Division in 2011-2012, and gave the Presidential Address at the Spring meetings in Seattle (April 2012). A podcast of this lecture is available online, and the text of the lecture appeared in the November 2012 issue of the APA Poceedings.
I recently completed a five-year term as editor of Hypatia (2008-2013), working with Lori Gruen as co-editor in the first two years, with Linda Martín Alcoff (Hunter College) and Ann Cudd (University of Kansas) as area co-editors in the last three years, and with Sharyn Clough (Oregon State University) as book review editor throughout. The editorial office had been hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington since July 2008; it moved to Villanova University in June 2013 when the new editors, Sally Scholz (Villanova University) and Shelley Wilcox (San Francisco State University) began their editorial term.
Biological Futures in a Globalized World
Selected Articles and Chapters