Ashley Shew

Assistant Professor, STS

Blacksburg Campus

Email: shew@vt.eduPhone:
Office Hours: TBAOffice: 116 Lane

An interdisciplinary STS scholar, Ashley Shew works to extend philosophies of technology into conversation with animal studies and disability studies with a focus on emerging technologies.

Her previous work includes an interest in the development and understanding of nanotechnology. Her dissertation centered on the question of where the use of tools by non-human animals stands with regard to philosophy of technology.

Since becoming an amputee in 2014, her interests in bodies, emerging technology, and identity have found a meaningful place. She's currently reading disability studies through the lens of philosophy of technology. Her focus on Technology and Dis/ability has led to current projects related to prosthetic technologies and prosthetist skill, the public images of disability, and popular narratives of humanness.

Working in conjunction with the Integrative Graduate Education Program (IGEP) on Regenerative Medicine, she's currently engaged with a group of scholars in projects on societal implications and ethics.


2011 PhD, Virginia Tech, Science & Technology Studies

     Dissertation: "A Unifying Account of Technological Knowledge: Animal Construction, Tool Use, and Technology"

2008 M.A., Virginia Tech, Philosophy

     Thesis: "What Dolphins Want: Animal Intentionality and Tool Use"

2007 M.S., Virginia Tech, Science & Technology Studies

     Thesis: "Beaver Dams, Spider Webs, and the Sticky Wicket"

2005 B.A., University of South Carolina, Philosophy, with Honors from the South Carolina Honors College and a minor in the Medical Humanities

     Honors Thesis: "Professionalizing Nanotechnology"

Areas of Specialization: Philosophy of Technology, Epistemology of Technology, Philosophy of Instrumentation, Technological Ethics

Areas of Competence: Applied Ethics (including Business, Medical, and Engineering Ethics), Animal Studies, History of Technology, Disability Studies