As we begin another exciting year here at Platypus, we’d like to introduce you to our new group of Contributing Editors. Contributing Editors are responsible both for producing and seeking out content for the blog. If you are interested in contributing something to the blog but aren’t sure how, reach out to the contributing editor who most closely relates to your proposed topic!
Abhigya is a Ph.D. candidate in Science and Technology Policy, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. Her Ph.D. research aims at understanding the perceptions of risk and safety that underpin pesticide regulation policy in India. Her work draws upon theories of risk, uncertainty, and ambivalence, controversy studies, law-science interactions. She has also looked into the socio-political processes associated with the diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture. In addition to this, she is deeply interested in exploring the questions related to assistive technology and the dynamics of technology-assisted learning, looking at it through the lens of the materiality of technoscience and its intersections with disability studies. To contact Abhigya, click here.
Svetlana Borodina is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Rice University. Her dissertation explores the material and conceptual forms of disability inclusion in Russia. Specifically, she examines how the global ethico-political inclusivity mandate travels and becomes domesticated in Russia – which forms of bodily and mental differences participate in the making of inclusive contexts, how people with and without disabilities conceptualize and experiences their gains and losses from cultivating inclusion, and which technoscientific assemblages support these processes. Svetlana’s interests include sensory anthropology, the anthropology of disability, assistive and enhancement technology, technologies of inclusion, medical anthropology, and ethics. Check out some of Svetlana’s previous posts here, and to contact her click here.
Hannah Eisler Burnett is Platypus’ inaugural multimodal contributing editor, charged with soliciting and developing audiovisual, multimedia, and other experimental content for the blog. Hannah is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation research examines how plans for ecosystem restoration in the Mississippi River Delta affect coastal communities, and the different histories that inform these restoration projects. She has also collaborated on various art and video projects related to themes of water, toxicity, global trade, and capital. To contact Hannah, click here.
John Favini is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Virginia. His interests lie at the intersection of environmental politics, race, and global indigeneity. His dissertation centers on a movement to stop bauxite mining in Jamaica. He has an emerging second project on movements against natural gas pipelines in Appalachia. John can be contacted here.
Mel Ford‘s dissertation research is focused on architectural interventions in the ravines (los barrancos) that compose nearly half of Guatemala City’s terrain. Interested in the relationship between form, environment, and design, she studies moments of encounter between ravine residents, urban planners, and architects to understand how they negotiate designs for a more socially and environmentally conscious urban future. Noting how “good design” is not just a concept solely reserved for the elite professional, her research also asks how residents of the ravines, too, are contributors that counter, implement, or negotiate ravine plans as the movement of urban ecological design sweeps and renovates Guatemala City. On a broader scale, she is interested in the histories, politics, and technologies of configuring terrain. She asks how local designers situate their expertise according to the functions of geometry, cartography, and colonialism throughout Latin America. Her research aims to strengthen insight into how Guatemala City attempts to reckon and ameliorate social and environmental issues that result from the instability, marginality, and violence of the 20th century. To read previous posts by Mel, click here. To contact her, click here.
Stephen Paff is an anthropologist, data scientist, and statistician passionate about the integration of these areas. He currently works at BronxCare, a hospital system, where he develops research to understand health and medical issues in the South Bronx, New York. He also works with Indicia Consulting conducting research to understand and foster ecological sustainability. Learn more about more work and interests on his blog or reach out to him at LinkedIn. To contact him about a potential post, click here.
Rebecca Perry is another veteran CE. She is a historian of technology, with interests in the history of computing, computer graphics, visual effects and computer gaming. Rebecca holds a PhD from MIT’s HASTS program. She recently completed a NASA/SHOT Fellowship at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress, and she is working on a history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Computer Graphics Lab. Rebecca’s work draws on labor, production, and film studies to explore art/technical collaborations and the production of virtual 3D objects for film and games. To see some of Rebecca’s previous posts, click here. Rebecca can be reached here.
Lina Pinto-García is also a returning CE. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at York University (Canada). She is interested in health regulations, therapeutic technologies, medical practices, and biomedical knowledge production in contexts of war and post-conflict scenarios. Lina’s dissertation is an ethnography concerned with a vector-borne disease called leishmaniasis and its entanglements with the Colombian armed conflict. As a contributing editor at Platypus, she focuses on topics related to healthcare, biomedical research, non-humans, state ethnography, warfare and violence, and art-based ethnographic methodologies, with a particular interest in Latin America. Check out a previous post here. To contact Lina, click here.
Tim Quinn is a 3rd year PhD student in anthropology at Rice University. Broadly, his interests are in the anthropology of pharmaceuticals, STS, queer theory, and transnational Asia/Asian regionalisms. His dissertation research focuses on the social lives of HIV prevention drugs in Bangkok, Thailand. With this project, he is interested in the chemo-material underpinnings of different forms of sovereignty, as well as the ways in which the governance of substances intersects with the governance of (sexual) subjectivity. Prior to my studies at Rice, I completed a master’s in anthropology at National Taiwan University, where I wrote a thesis on tongzhi activist engagements with sovereignty activism, discourses of national pluralism, and global LGBT movements. As a contributing editor for the CASTAC blog, he hopes to help curate posts that will help spotlight innovative STS research that is happening in East and Southeast Asia. For authors interested in publishing bilingual posts, he is also happy to work with authors looking to publish in Mandarin or Thai. Check out a post by Tim here. He can be reached here.
Scott Schwartz is a PhD candidate and Adjunct Lecturer at the City University of New York (CUNY). His research centers on the material culture of knowledge production, specifically the intersection of quantification and vulnerability. He has conducted fieldwork in the Orkney Islands, Iceland, the Aeolian Islands, and New York City. He is a frequent collaborator with artists and curators, with some such manifestations appearing in the Queens Museum and Radiator Gallery. To contact Scott, click here.
Peter Taber is a veteran Contributing Editor to Platypus. He is an applied anthropologist whose current work focuses on the management of antimicrobial resistance in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His previous research focused on environmental expertise in Ecuador. Check out some of his work here. Reach out to Peter here.
Katie Ulrich is a PhD candidate in the department of anthropology at Rice University. Her research focuses on petrochemical replacements made from sugarcane, including not only biofuels but sugar-based plastics, synthetic fabrics, solvents, specialty chemicals, and more. She is working with scientists and industry actors in São Paulo, Brazil who are researching new biotechnologies to expand the scope and scale of sugar-based alternatives to petrochemicals. Her project follows the technical practices of scientists, industry actors, and funding agents within and beyond the lab that reconfigure sugarcane molecularly, socially, and politically—and to what extent these practices ultimately transform sugarcane from a crop with a violent history into a feedstock for new environmental and industrial futures. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, she worked as a research assistant in a molecular biology lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Her broader research interests include biotechnology, lab ethnography, feminist STS, technical practices, extraction, agriculture, food, energy, waste, futures, substitution, and transition. To read a post by Katie, click here. To contact her, reach out here.