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Aihwa Ong

Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Speaks on:

Near-Humans, Cloned Monkeys, & CRISPR Babies: Productive Uncertainty in China’s Quest for Biosecurity


With responses by:

Duana Fullwiley
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University

Guobin Yang
Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communications & Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 – 4:00 PM (ET)

Watch the Lecture


About the Lecture

Anthropological inquiry enhances STS (Science, Technology, and Society Studies) by analyzing the diversity of contexts and perspectives that participate in contemporary knowledge-making processes. The focal point for the discipline concerns how values and beliefs about being human mutate and what modes of living and forms of life modernity subsequently puts at stake. Reflexive ethnographic research illuminates how specific cases and contingent circumstances connect to big questions and situated practices contribute to globalized change. Ong’s approach has always been poised at the intersections of particularity and globality, difference and interconnectivity, human and non-human, and stability and uncertainty.

Such a vantage point analyzes how Asia’s emerging biomedical sites productively engage and transform contemporary science through a process of de- and re-contextualization, thus making it cosmopolitan.

About Aihwa Ong

Aihwa Ong is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Science Council of the International Panel on Social Progress.

Ong has published on a range of topics including the anthropology of labor, governance, sovereignty, cities, citizenship, life sciences, and experimental art in the Asia-Pacific. She has lectured internationally and been invited to the World Economic Forum. Her awards include grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and some book prizes.

Ong is the author of five works: Fungible Life: Experiment in the Asian City of Life (2016); Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty (2006); Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (2003); Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality (1999); and Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia (1986). She is also the coeditor of Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (2005, with Stephen J. Collier). Other coedited works include Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global (2011); Asian Biotech: Ethics and Communities of Fate (2010); Privatizing China: Socialism from Afar (2008); and Ungrounded Empires: The Cultural Politics of Modern Chinese Transnationalism (1997). Her writings are translated into European and Asian languages.