DPDF Student Fellowship Competition > DPDF Student Fellowship Competition 2014

Making the Biotech Body: Technologies, Knowledge, and Global Markets

Open only to doctoral students based at universities within the U.S.

Workshop dates:
Spring- June 4-8, 2014 in Berkeley, California
Fall- September 17-21, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia

This field brings a critical approach to emergent forms of biological identity and their intimate and commercial meanings. Since 1960, a new world of capitalized and commercialized biology has reconfigured understandings and experiences of embodiment. Brain mapping is seen as a guide to criminal behavior, social relations and economic systems; direct-to-consumer genetic testing seems to validate racial categories; massive biobanks control DNA data for private use; and race-based diagnostics and pharmaceuticals reanimate old ideas about human biological variation. These endeavors are the focus of intense marketing. Here we see how biological sciences facilitate an understanding of the human body as a resource to be capitalized, mapped, invaded, miniaturized, disaggregated and reworked as product. Biotechnology ventures make up a multi-billion dollar sector of the global economy and both biological materials and knowledge, to a degree heretofore unseen, are routinely understood as commercial resources. This has consequences for scientists, consumers, patients, policy makers, and broader publics. These phenomena make up a complex social field demanding theoretically and methodologically innovative attention.

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Field Directors

Karen-Sue Taussig
Associate Professor, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Anthropology [ bio ]
Karen-Sue Taussig is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Interim Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research interests include medical anthropology, genomics, eugenics, anthropology of science, biotechnology, and the biopolitics of genetic testing, new reproductive technologies, cloning, and stem cell research. She has published numerous journal articles on these topics, as well as the book, Ordinary Genomes: Science, Citizenship, and Genetic Identities (Duke University 2009). She has received funding from sources including the Wenner-Gren Foundation, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has been a residential fellow at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study. She was also a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and previously taught in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Taussig received her PhD in Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.
M. Susan Lindee
Professor/Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, History and Sociology of Science [ bio ]
M. Susan Lindee is Janice and Julian Bers Professor of History and Sociology of Science and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. She teaches the history of genetics, science and gender, and science and war. Her books include Moments of Truth in Genetic Medicine (John Hopkins University 2005), and The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon with Dorothy Nelkin (University of Michigan 2004). She also co-edited Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science Beyond the Two Culture Divide (University of California 2003) and "The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks," a special issue of Current Anthropology (April 2012). Lindee has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Burroughs Wellcome 40th Anniversary Award, and funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation and Wenner-Gren Foundation. Her PhD is in History and Philosophy of Science from Cornell University.


List of recipients for this competition is not yet available.