Assistant Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology
McMillan Hall 326
Campus Box 1114
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
My research interests center around the anthropology of knowledge, science and technology studies, social theory and epistemology. My work has tracked institutional and epistemological aspects of the biosciences and biotech industry. My current book project follows two labs that conduct research in synthetic biology, and looks at how research in these labs articulates with entrenched institutional forms. Responding to the tendency of anthropology of emergent stuff to replicate the breathy futurism of purportedly revolutionary domains, the book highlighting some of the difficulties involved in making technoscience produce results in registers legible to the more plodding institutional contexts in which such efforts are undertaken.
My work on synthetic biology has spawned my new project on the notion of "complexity". The premise of the project is that "complexity" is a strange analytic that plays a role in both positivist and poststructural/postmodern discourses. I have explored complexity from a number of vantage points, including synthetic biology, feminist science studies, and anthropology. The next phase of this project will involve fieldwork among cancer geneticists. I'm hoping to grasp something of the way complexity gets caught between ontological and epistemological concerns.
In press “Epistemic Artifacts: On the Uses of Complexity in Anthropology.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
2016 “Ignoring Complexity: Epistemic Wagers and Knowledge Practices Among Synthetic Biologists.” Science, Technology and Human Values 41(5): 899-921
2005 A Machine to Make A Future: Biotech Chronicles, with Paul Rabinow. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
Economies as Cultural System (L48 3391)
Culture, Power, Knowledge (L48 4367)