Donna Drucker, Ph.D.
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Visiting time at TU Darmstadt: October 2013 – September 2014
Teaching and research area: History of science and technology, History of gender and sexuality
Last academic station: TU Darmstadt, Graduiertenkolleg „Topologie der Technik“
Most important academic stations: TU Darmstadt, Colorado College, Butler University
Teaching offered in the summer semester 2014:
1. Why should students of TU Darmstadt attend your lectures and/or seminars?
Gender is an important concept that structures how people interact with each other and with the environment they live in. Gender ideas and concepts are enacted in everyday life in public urban space, in our classrooms and work spaces, and with the technologies that surround us. All students may benefit from interactive discussions and projects designed to study how gender concepts affect the technologies we use, how they affect our university studies and workplaces, and the spaces in which we live. We all function in environments and societies that remain unequal along not only gendered, but also class, economic, and racial lines, and we will examine ways to make our living and employment situations better for everyone.
Additionally, my classes offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to improve their skills in reading, writing, and speaking English in an academic setting.
2. Why did you choose TU Darmstadt for your KIVA Visiting Professorship?
I enjoyed working alongside the professors, graduate students, and other postdoctoral fellows in the Topologie der Technik Graduiertenkolleg, and I wanted to stay longer at the university to teach.
3. At TU Darmstadt and especially in the context of KIVA interdisciplinarity has a high importance. Which are the connections between your area of teaching and research to other thematic fields and disciplines?
Gender is an issue that affects everyone, though most gender-oriented academic scholarship is conducted in the humanities and social science disciplines, including my home discipline of history. However, understanding the ways that gender is a critical component in the sciences and in the working lives of scientists is crucial. The gender imbalance in many professions affects how students and coworkers treat each other. Gender matters greatly in urban planning and environmental studies. I have found studies that argue for the gendered nature of different building substances, such as concrete and metal. Students across disciplines will be able to learn in my courses the importance of gender as a category of analysis-- and about the many opportunities for improvement.
4. What is your perfect balance to a stressful working day?
Yoga, swimming, or a leisurely walk around the Prinz-Georg-Garten.