Announcing the 2020 SSRC Fellow: Aihwa Ong

The Social Science Research Council is proud to announce that Professor Aihwa Ong will be its next SSRC Fellow.

Professor Ong will be in virtual residency on September 23–25, 2020, during which she will lead seminars and deliver a public lecture entitled ”Near-Humans, Cloned Monkeys, & CRISPR Babies: Productive Uncertainty in China’s Quest for Biosecurity.”

The SSRC Fellow initiative invites distinguished scholars to the Council to strengthen research and programming in the areas in which we currently work or aspire to work.  The program, established in 2019 with inaugural SSRC Fellow Lorraine Daston, broadens the thematic purview of the Democracy Fellow program, which has recognized Pierre Rosanvallon, Charles Taylor, and Danielle Allen.

Aihwa Ong is professor and Robert H. Lowie Distinguished Chair in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is the chair of the Center of Southeast Asian Studies. 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.