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Department of Anthropology
5 The Green
311B Eaton Hall
Medford, MA 02155
Ph.D., Anthropology, The University of Chicago 2013
M.A. The University of Chicago 2008
B.A. The University of Virginia 2004
Medical anthropology, science and technology, environment, ethnicity and indigeneity, nationalism, post-socialism. Geographic focus: Russia; North Asia.
My first book project focused on how postsocialist economies of health are shaped through the cultural politics of indigenous knowledge, the remaking of ethnoecologies, and the commodification of ethnic identities. I combine these theoretical concerns with an interest in the afterlives of Soviet scientific and state-building projects in Russia and Inner Asia. I am currently working on a book, provisionally titled Mixing Medicines: the Politics of Health in Postsocialist Siberia, which follows Russia's official medical sector's attempts to reinvent itself through state-led initiatives of "medical integration" that aim to recuperate indigenous therapeutic traditions associated with the state's ethnic and religious minorities. Based in Buryatia, a traditionally Buddhist region on the border of Russia and Mongolia known for its post-Soviet revival of "Tibetan medicine" and shamanism, the book traces the uneven terrains of encounter between indigenous healing, the state, and transnational medical flows.
My current research project explores how the use of "smart drugs" reconfigures discourses and experiences of clinical, social, and work-related efficacy, as they circulate across borders and enter divergent pharmaceutical, medical, and ethical regimes between Russia and the United States. Focused on a contentious category of pharmaceuticals labeled "nootropics" – a chemically fluid taxonomic classification that encompasses a variety of synthetic and naturally-derived substances designed to enhance cognitive functions – the project interrogates what types of selves, regimes of labor, therapeutic ideologies, and temporalities of embodiment these substances help mediate and enact.
Refereed Journal Articles:
2016 Caring for Strangers: Traditional Medicine and Collective Self-Care in Russia." Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 31(1):78-96.
2015 Contingent Efficacies in Buryat Tibetan Medicine." Asian Medicine. 10(1-2):249-272.
2015 The Pulse in the Machine: Automating Tibetan Diagnostic Palpation in Postsocialist Russia." Comparative Studies in Society and History. 57(02):407-434
Chapters in Edited Volumes:
Manuscripts in Preparation:
"Speculative Ontologies: Transacting with Capitalist Spirits in Postsocialist Russia." In preparation for Cultural Anthropology: Colloquium Series
"'Noonots:' Cognitive Enhancement Drugs and the Ethics and Aesthetics of Self-Experimentation." In preparation for Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness.
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