4S 2017 CFP: Making Medical Innovation Ethical

New medical technologies often challenge and remake frameworks for evaluating the ethics of biomedical procedures. This panel, organized by the Science, Technology, and Medicine section of the Society for Medical Anthropology, seeks to deepen the conversation about what happens when new medical tools come up against existing ethical sensibilities.

Problems of Scale

The reproduction of gender in food allergic households isn’t about false consciousness. But the priorities of social life at the household level doesn’t scale perfectly onto priorities for gender equality in American society.

What Stories Make Worlds in VR: A Preliminary Dispatch

At this point in the development of a new collaborative project, PIP (Practically In Person), I am thinking about how three different ways of assembling people, spaces, time scales, and things are being dynamically constituted: how intersectional identities, artistic and scholarly conceptions of embodiment, and the capitalist political economic context of modern computing technologies are playfully negotiated to imagine and enact a new digital politics for VR.

What Stories Tell Stories

I’m working on several projects right now, and one thing that ties my approach to all of them together is concern about the narrative frameworks we use to talk about science, technology, and progress. Three books I’ve read this fall are grounding my thoughts about the narrative challenges of storytelling in our technoscientific world.

New Course in NYC: Anthropology and Ethnographic Theory starts Nov 21

Developed as a tool for colonial empire-building at the close of the 19th century, the ethnographic method has emerged in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as an important practice for telling the stories of the oppressed and demanding social change. How did this transformation take place, and what does it mean for the future of how human societies study and understand themselves?

4S Panel Preview | Eating For Life: When Food Is the Best Medicine

Recent work in science studies has identified the use of “drugs for life” (Dumit 2012) – drugs which are necessary to sustain life and which also must be taken for the duration of life to have the desired effect – as a dominant trend in today’s biomedical toolkit. What has sometimes been overlooked are the everyday technologies of the self that coexist with these novel pharmaceutical regimens, like eating. The 4S panel, “Eating For Life: When Food Is the Best Medicine,” seeks to explore the intentional and incidental ways that dietary management is used to augment or stand in for pharmaceutical approaches to the maintenance of the human body.

New course: Drugs and Society starts October 19th in NYC

Informed by Marxist theory, feminism, and science studies, this class interrogates how drugs – both engineered pharmaceuticals and pleasurably addictive illegal substances – gain and reproduce their power in our social life. As total health expenditures approach 20% of American GDP, and drugs become dynamic components of everyday life, understanding the personal experience and political economy of these compounds is more crucial than ever.

Becoming Cyborg: Science and Science Fiction starts October 17th

Join me in Jersey City for the Brooklyn Institute’s first Jersey class at Word Bookstore!

Donna Haraway argues in her canonical essay, “A Manifesto For Cyborgs,” that to be a cyborg means to live in a world without tidy origin stories or innocent wholeness. Instead, it is about partial connections, complex kinship with humans, non-humans, and machines, and an acceptance of the messiness that it takes to get along better together. Using this formulation of cyborg theory as a jumping off point, this seminar will explore what it means to live in our modern world where myths of human-machine synthesis prefigure our attitudes toward technology and the future, the responsibility of humans toward non-humans and the environment, capitalist accumulation, and oppression based on gender, race, and class.

Donna Haraway Course Begins July 11 in Brooklyn

Over a career spanning four decades, philosopher of science Donna Haraway has revolutionized how social theorists and technoscience practitioners understand the situated objectivity of scientific knowledge, with special attention to the ways in which technoscience assigns biological meaning to social categories of gender. While Haraway is most famously associated with Cyborg Theory, this course will offer students an opportunity to survey the full scope of her oeuvre, including those works that draw on Marxist feminist theory, philosophy of science, and multispecies concerns.