Professor Duana Fullwiley
Department of Anthropology at Stanford University
Duana Fullwiley is a literary medical anthropologist and ethnographer of science. She writes broadly about ethics, genetics and how humans imagine and seed ideas of difference that can separate and estrange, celebrate or disparage, embolden and hierarchize, maximize or minimize some aspect of group identities. She has authored non-fiction anthropological works focused on the human actors within science that have written the normative languages of their fields in terms of race, nation, territory, and ever-shifting concepts of inclusion. Her work is interdisciplinary, multi-lingual (English, French, Wolof) and spans and connects metropolises that aren’t often linked (Oakland, Paris, Dakar). Fullwiley’s thinking engages questions of how ethics and power shape contemporary science and medicine, increasingly important as algorithmic and automated systems can embed or efface obvious structures of intent and bias. Paying close attention to the human hands (as well as minds and bodies) that literally construct scientific tools, she attends to the relationships, values and economies that inhere in technological designs. Her ethnographic observations furthermore inspire her poetry. These docu-poems grapple with seemingly contradictory elements of modern life –from strict U.S. immigration policies to a fascination with global otherness and distant ancestors, from immeasurable socio-somatic malaise to reductive biomedical metrics of pain, blood and genes. She has also collaborated with several museum on themes of scientific identity to bring attention to the marginalized whose contributions to science often go unnoticed because of gender, poverty, age and global standing. Dr. Fullwiley is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University.