Science in Human Culture at Northwestern University
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Ken Alder
Pablo J. Boczkowski

Lina Britto

Charles Camic*
Héctor Carrillo
Jeannette Colyvas*
Scott Curtis
Penelope Deutscher
Steven Epstein*
Wendy Espeland
Gary Fine
Sandy Goldberg

Eszter Hargittai
Carol A. Heimer
Philip Hockberger

Daniel Immerwahr

Sylvester Johnson

Peter Locke

Joel Mokyr

Tania Munz*

Laura Pedraza Fariña

Paul Ramírez*

Jim Schwoch
Rebecca Seligman

Mark Sheldon
Jane Smith
Jacqueline Stevens

Noelle Sullivan
Claudia Swan*
Helen Tilley*

Keith Woodhouse

Sandy Zabell

*Members of the 2014-2015 Advisory Committee for SHC and the Science Studies Graduate Cluster


Helen Tilley, History, Director of Science in Human Culture
Helen Tilley (PhD, History, Oxford) is an Associate Professor of History with affiliations to the programs in African Studies, Global Health, and Environmental Policy and Culture. Her work examines medical, environmental, racial, and anthropological research in colonial and post-colonial contexts, emphasizing intersections with environmental history and development studies. Her book, Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge (Chicago, 2011) explores the dynamic interplay between scientific research and imperialism in British Africa between 1870 and 1950. She has also written articles and book chapters on the history of ecology, eugenics, agriculture, and epidemiology in tropical Africa, and is co-editor with Robert Gordon of Ordering Africa: Anthropology, European Imperialism and the Politics of Knowledge (Manchester, 2007) and with Michael Gordin and Gyan Prakash of Utopia-Dystopia: Historical Conditions of Possibility (Princeton, 2010). Her current project seeks to explain the different scientific studies and legal interventions in the twentieth century that originally helped to construct “traditional medicine” as a viable category of research and policy-making, especially in the contexts of decolonization and the Cold War. She has received grants for her research from the Wellcome Trust and the National Science Foundation.


Ken Alder

Ken Alder, History

Ken Alder (Ph.D., History of Science, Harvard) is Professor of History and Milton H. Wilson Professor in the Humanities. He studies the history of science and technology in the context of social and political change. His first book, Engineering the Revolution: Army and Enlightenment in France (Princeton, 1997; Chicago, 2010), won the 1998 Dexter Prize from the Society of the History of Technology. His second book, The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World (The Free Press, 2002), examined the origins of the metric system in Revolutionary France. The book has been translated into 12 languages and won the Davis Prize (HSS), the Dingle Prize (BSHS), and the Kagan Prize (The Historical Society). His most recent book, The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession (The Free Press, 2007; Bison Books, 2009) examines the fraught relation between truth and justice in twentieth-century  United States. He is currently working on two projects.  The first traces the history of the forensic sciences from the Renaissance to genomics so as to explore the shifting relationship between identification and identity. The second examines the history of “artificial beings” (aka artifacts). For his work he has been granted fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the American Bar Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has served on the executive council of the History of Science Society and the Society for the History of Technology, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


Boczkowski Pablo J. Boczkowski, Communication Studies

Pablo Boczkowski (Ph.D., Science and Technology Studies, Cornell) is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. His research program looks at the transition from print to digital media, with a focus on the organizational and occupational dynamics of contemporary journalism and increasingly examined by adopting a comparative lens. He has published three books, one edited volume, and over twenty journal articles and fifty conference presentations. Together with Eugenia Mitchelstein (Universidad de San Andrés) and Ignacio Siles (Universidad de Costa Rica) he is studying the dynamics of institutional decay via an ethnography of the demise of print newspapers in Chicago, Paris, and Buenos Aires; and with Chris Anderson (CUNY) he is putting together a conference and edited volume about the future of scholarship on online news. More information on


Lina Britto, History

Lina Britto (Ph.D. New York University) is an historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean. Her work situates illegal narcotics networks in Colombia, particularly marijuana, in the context of a growing articulation between the country and the United States during the Cold War. She has published in Revista Contemporánea, the Hispanic American Historical Review (spring 2015), North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) and El Espectador (Colombia). She is preparing a book manuscript on Colombia’s marijuana boom in the 1970s based on extensive fieldwork and oral history in the Colombian Caribbean, as well as archival research in Colombia and the United States. Her courses at Northwestern focus on the hemispheric history of narcotrafficking, the war on drugs, popular music, and oral history.



Charles Camic, Sociology
Charles Camic (Ph.D., Sociology, Chicago) is John Evans Professor of Sociology. His areas of interest include the sociology of knowledge, the history of the social sciences, classical and contemporary sociological theory (with a special emphasis on Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu), and science studies. In recent years, his work has centered on examining the social processes by which the social sciences took shape and developed in the United States in the period from 1880 to 1940. With Michele Lamont and Neil Gross, he has edited Social Knowledge in the Making (University of Chicago Press, 2011). He is currently completing an intellectual biography of Thorstein Veblen, which uses STS scholarship to analyze the making of a new type of economic knowledge.


  Héctor Carrillo

Héctor Carrillo, Sociology/Gender Studies

Héctor Carrillo (Ph.D., Public Health, Berkeley) is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and in the Gender Studies Program.  He is interested generally in issues of health, biomedicine, and sexuality for Mexican and Latino/a immigrant populations.  He is the author of The Night Is Young: Sexuality in Mexico in the Time of AIDS (University of Chicago Press, 2002), which received the Ruth Benedict Prize from the American Anthropological Association.  He currently investigates the intersections of sexuality, migration, and heath among Mexican gay and bisexual men who have relocated to California, and the sexualities and sexual identities of heterosexually-identified men who are sexually attracted to both women and men. Dr. Carrillo is co-director of the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN). He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, among other agencies.


  Jeannette Colyvas

Jeannette Colyvas, Human Development and Social Policy
On leave in 2014-15.
Jeannette Colyvas (Ph.D., Education, Stanford) is assistant professor of learning and organizational change at the School of Education and Social Policy. Her current research addresses university-industry relations, scientist collaboration networks, and the development and commercialization of academic research, particularly with respect to the biotech industry.  She is interested in organizations and entrepreneurship, comparing public, private, and non-profit forms of organizing, and the study of networks. Professor Colyvas teaches the course Tools for Organizational Analysis at Northwestern and while at Stanford co-taught graduate courses on the nonprofit sector with Professor Walter W. Powell. Her published work has appeared in the journals Management Science and Research in Organizational Behavior.


  Curtis Scott Curtis, RTVF
Scott Curtis (Ph.D., Film Studies, Iowa) is Associate Professor in the Department of Radio/Television/Film. He studies scientific and medical cinema, specifically how scientists and physicians use moving images in their research, how the moving image is constructed as legitimate evidence, and how the scientific moving image articulates particular conceptions of time, space, and the human body. His work on science and cinema has appeared in Science in Context, Zeitschrift fūr Medienwissenschaft, and other journals and anthologies, and he has organized symposia on the topic at Northwestern University and Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Professor Curtis will be teaching at the NU campus in Qatar for 2011-13.
  Penelope Deutscher

Penelope Deutscher, Philosophy
Penelope Deutscher (Ph.D., Philosophy, New South Wales) is Professor of Philosophy and specializes in twentieth-century and contemporary French philosophy and philosophy of gender. Other areas of special interest include theories of genealogy and biopolitics (Nietzsche, Foucault, Agamben).  Her main publications include Yielding Gender: Feminism, Deconstruction and the History of Philosophy  (Routledge, 1997); A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray (Cornell, 2002), How to Read Derrida  (Granta/Norton, 2006), and The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir: Ambiguity, Conversion, Resistance (Cambridge, 2008).

  Steven Epstein

Steven Epstein, Sociology
Steven Epstein (Ph.D., Sociology, Berkeley) is the John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Sociology. He studies the contested production of knowledge, especially biomedical knowledge, with an emphasis on the interplay of social movements, experts, and health institutions, and with a focus on the politics of sexuality, gender, and race. He is the author of two prize-winning books, Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge (California, 1996) and Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research (Chicago, 2007), and he is a co-editor of Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine’s Simple Solutions (Johns Hopkins, 2010). Epstein serves on the editorial board of the journal Social Studies of Science, and he has served on the council of the Society for Social Studies of Science.  He is the current chair of the Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.


  Wendy Espeland

Wendy Espeland, Sociology
Wendy Espeland (Ph.D., Sociology, Chicago) is Associate Professor of Sociology.  She works in the areas of organizations, culture, and law. Her book, The Struggle for Water: Politics, Rationality and Identity in the American Southwest (Chicago, 1998) was awarded the Best Book Prize by the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association, the Rachel Carson Award from the Society for the Social Studies of Science, and the Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration. She is currently writing a book about the effects of commensuration, the process of translating qualities into quantities. In it she investigates how media rankings have influenced higher education, how efforts to measure homosexuality have shaped gay and lesbian politics, and the commensurative practices necessary in order to transform air pollution into a commodity that is traded on futures markets.


  Gary Fine

Gary Fine, Sociology
Gary Fine (Ph.D., Sociology, Harvard), Professor of Sociology, studies social psychology, sociology of culture, sociology of science, qualitative sociology, social theory, and collective behavior.  His current research has three distinct streams.  As an ethnographer, he is currently examining the multiple social worlds of chess as a leisure and competitive activity, examining the role of technological change and changes in global-political politics (e.g., the breakup of the Soviet Union) on chess as a community.  His most recent publication is Authors of the Storm: Meteorology and the Culture of Prediction (Chicago, 2007).  Second, he is interested in the development of reputations of individuals with “difficult reputations” by means of reputational entrepreneurs, work published in Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept and Controversial (Chicago, 2001).  His current research on reputations deals with reputations and memories of the American left and right during the 1935-1955 period, including McCarthy era and the way that Adolf Hitler is remembered in the United States. His final stream of research involves the interpretation of rumor and contemporary legend, particularly political and economic rumors. His most recent book in this area is Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America (California, 2001).


Sanford Goldberg, Philosophy
Sandy Goldberg (PhD Columbia University, 1995) is Professor of Philosophy.  His interests are in the theory of knowledge, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind, with a special interest in the social aspects of knowledge.  He is the author of numerous articles as well as three books: Anti-Individualism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Relying on Others: An Essay in Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Assertion: On the Philosophical Significance of a Speech Act (Oxford University Pres, 2015).  His research focuses on various aspects of knowledge communities: the use of language to spread knowledge; the division of intellectual labor; the way in which norms structure knoweldge communities; disagreement; and other issues in social epistemology.



Eszter Hargittai, Communication Studies
Eszter Hargittai (Ph.D. Sociology, Princeton) is Delaney Family Professor in the Communication Studies Department and Faculty Associate of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University where she heads the Web Use Project. Her research looks at how people may benefit from their digital media uses with a particular focus on how differences in people's Web-use skills influence what they do online. She has looked at these questions in the domains of information seeking, health content, political participation, job search, and the sharing of creative content. She has also explored the relationship of people's Internet skills and their online privacy management. Hargittai is editor of Research Confidential: Solutions to Problems Most Social Scientists Pretend They Never Have (University of Michigan Press 2009), which presents a rare behind-the-scenes look at doing empirical social science research. She is currently working on a book on managing your online reputation with Brayden King forthcoming with Princeton University Press. She writes an academic career advice column at Inside Higher Ed called Ph.Do. She tweets @eszter.


  Carol A. Heimer

Carol A. Heimer, Sociology
Carol A. Heimer (Ph.D., Sociology, Chicago) is Professor of Sociology and Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation.  She has written on risk and insurance (Reactive Risk and Rational Action), organization theory (Organization Theory and Project Management, co-authored with Stinchcombe), the sociology of law and the sociology of medicine (For the Sake of the Children, co-authored with Staffen, winner of both the theory and medical sociology prizes of the American Sociological Association). A recipient of the Ver Steeg Award for graduate teaching, she usually teaches courses on law, medicine, and qualitative methods, with occasional forays in to topics such as the sociology of moral experience.  Heimer is currently writing a book from her NSF-funded comparative study of the role of law in medicine.  The Legal Transformation of Medicine will be grounded in ethnographic work and interviews on the use of rules (broadly conceived) in HIV/AIDS clinics in the US, Uganda, South Africa, and Thailand.

  Philip Hockberger, Physiology

Philip Hockberger (Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Illinois) is Associate Professor of Physiology at the Feinberg School of Medicine and Executive Director of Research Facilities at Northwestern University. He has published more than 50 scientific papers and book chapters on topics related to membrane biophysics, cell migration, and photobiology. He has been the lead author on papers published in several prestigious journals including Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Besides research in neuroscience and cellular behavior, he has long-standing interests in the philosophy of science and how research in the biomedical sciences impacts society. He has given more than 150 presentations to the public over the past 15 years aimed at fostering communication between scientists and society. He and Dr. Richard Miller co-teach an annual graduate course, Science & Society, that explores the intersection of these topics. They also lead an annual bioethics seminar for the Chicago Graduate Student Association, and serve as faculty mentors for the NU Science Policy Initiative (SPiN).



Daniel Immerwahr, History

Daniel Immerwahr (Ph.D., History, UC Berkeley) is Assistant Professor of History. He specializes in the history of the United States within a global context and teaches U.S. intellectual history, U.S. foreign relations, and global history. His first book, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development (Harvard University Press, 2015), is about United States' attempts to address poverty within its own borders and abroad in the middle decades of the twentieth century. He is currently researching a second book, How to Hide an Empire, about the U.S. relationship between power and geography in the twentieth century. Immerwahr was won the Allan Nevins prize for best dissertation on North American economic history from the Economic History Association and received honorable mention for the Betty M. Unterberger award for best dissertation in U.S. foreign relations from the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations.



Sylvester Johnson, African American Studies

Sylvester A. Johnson (Ph.D. Union Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religious Studies. His research has examined the intersection of religion, race, and empire, particularly in Atlantic geographies. Johnson most recently authored African American Religions 1500–2000: Colonialism, Democracy, and Freedom (Cambridge University, forthcoming in 2015). His first book, The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity: Race, Heathens, and the People of God (Palgrave Macmillan 2004) won the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book award in 2005. He is a founding co-editor of the Journal of Africana Religions, which publishes research on religion throughout the Black diaspora.

Johnson is currently researching the relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and American religious groups, the early comparative study of global religions, and the significance of information technology and intelligent machines for humanities research.



Peter Locke, Global Health

Peter Locke (Ph.D., Princeton) is a cultural and medical anthropologist focused on bringing ethnographic evidence to the comparative study of global health and humanitarian intervention in post-conflict societies. His field research, writing, and teaching all explore and critique the intersection of humanitarian work and reigning modes of evidence production in contexts of contentious local politics and lingering histories of conflict and mass violence.

Locke’s doctoral research in Bosnia-Herzegovina examined how the urban poor cope with traumatic histories and rebuild their lives in a new post-war state and economy; more specifically, he charted the impact and sustainability of humanitarian psychiatry and psychosocial support services for war survivors in Sarajevo. Locke’s dissertation (under revision as a book manuscript) aims to illustrate how anthropological evidence can help to ground debates about international humanitarianism and democracy-building, enrich social scientific and clinical approaches to trauma, and imagine alternative approaches to post-war social repair that better incorporate the values, needs, and desires of survivors.

More recently, Locke has accompanied small undergraduate teams to Sierra Leone to conduct ethnographic research on the encounter between the booming transnational discourses and practices of “global health” and local understandings of and struggles for healing, care, and survival. Locke has worked together with students and the leaders, caregivers, and beneficiaries of a small American-funded medical humanitarian NGO (nongovernmental organization) to explore how some of the key themes and dynamics of today’s “new world of global health” play out in one of Africa’s poorest nations, where public health infrastructure is deeply limited and a range of actors, from Western humanitarians to local networks of traditional healers, are struggling to fill in the void.

Prior to joining Northwestern’s faculty, Locke served as a postdoctoral research associate and then as a lecturer for Princeton University’s Program in Global Health and Health Policy.



Joel Mokyr, History/Economics
Joel Mokyr is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University and Sackler Professor (by special appointment) at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv. He specializes in economic history and the economics of technological change and population change. He is the author of Why Ireland Starved: An Analytical and Quantitative Study of the Irish Economy, The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, The British Industrial Revolution: An Economic Perspective and his most recent The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy. His most recent book is The Enlightened Economy published by Yale University Press and Penguin in 2009. He has authored over 80 articles and books in his field. He has served as the senior editor of the Journal of Economic History from 1994 to 1998, and was editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (published in July 2003), and still serves as editor in chief of a book series, the Princeton University Press Economic History of the Western World. He served as President of the Economic History Association 2003-04, and is a director of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He serves as chair of the advisory committee of the Institutions, Organizations, and Growth program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He served as chair of the Economics Department at Northwestern University between 1998 and 2001 and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford between Sept. 2001 and June 2002. Professor Mokyr has an undergraduate degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D, from Yale University. He has taught at Northwestern since 1974, and has been a visiting Professor at Harvard, the University of Chicago, Stanford, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Tel Aviv, University College of Dublin, and the University of Manchester. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. His books have won a number of important prizes including the Joseph Schumpeter memorial prize (1990), the Ranki prize for the best book in European Economic history and more recently the Donald Price Prize of the American Political Science Association. In 2006 he was awarded the biennial Heineken Prize by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences for a lifetime achievement in historical science. He was President of the Midwest Economics Association in 2007/08, and was elected a Fellow of the Cliometric Society (in the first class) in 2010. He is currently working on the intellectual and institutional origins of modern economic growth and the way they interacted with technological elements. His current other research is an attempt to apply insights from evolutionary theory to long-run changes in technological knowledge and economic history.



Tania Munz, Science in Human Culture

Weinberg College Undergraduate Adviser, 1908 Sheridan Road, 847.491.8916

Tania Munz (Ph.D., History of Science, Princeton) is a lecturer in the Science in Human Culture Program and a College Advisor in the WCAS.  Munz works on the history of biology and animal behavior studies. Her forthcoming book, The Dancing Bees: Karl von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Dance Language, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in Spring 2015.  The book offers a dual intellectual biography that examines the life and work of the experimental physiologist Karl von Frisch (1886-1982) alongside his favored research animal—the honeybee.  Munz has published in Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences and the British Journal for the History of Science.  She has held a postdoctoral fellowships from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin and the SHC program at Northwestern.  She has taught several courses in the History Department at NU, among them a seminar on "The History of the Environment," and lecture courses on "Early Modern Science" and "Modern Science."  She has also co-taught a freshman seminar entitled "Biological Thought and Action" as part of a Howard Hughes/NU Bioscientist initiative.  She serves on the Council of the History of Science Society.



Laura Pedraza Fariña, Law

Laura Pedraza Fariña (Ph.D., Genetics, Yale; J.D., Harvard) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at Northwestern University.  Before joining academia, Professor Pedraza Fariña practiced law in the Washington, D.C. offices of Covington & Burling, where she focused on patent litigation and litigation under the Alien Tort Statute, and served as a consultant for the Open Society Foundations, where she researched the national implementation of global commitments to fight HIV/AIDS.  Professor Pedraza Fariña’s scholarship focuses on patent law, international law, and human rights law. She has written on the role of non-state actors in global governance, and on sociological approaches to patent law.  Her published articles include, Conceptions of Civil Society in International Law-Making and Implementation: A Theoretical Framework, 34 Michigan Journal of International Law 102 (2013), and Patent Law and the Sociology of Innovation, 2013 Wisconsin Law Review 815 (2013).  Her scholarship on intellectual property law seeks to complement traditional law and economic analyses of patent law by developing a sociological and historical approach that focuses on the ways in which scientific knowledge, and thus innovation, is made, maintained, and modified.  Her current projects include an analysis of the implications of sociological studies on tacit scientific knowledge for the disclosure theory of patent law, and a study of how the specialized court structure of patent law influences the content of patent decisions.



Paul Ramírez, History

Paul Ramírez (Ph.D., History, Berkeley) is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Northwestern. His research interests lie in the ways often implicit cultural understands facilitated the introduction of new kinds of medical knowledge in Mexico’s early modern period. A book project currently underway, tentatively titled Minerva’s Mexico: The Enlightenment Battle against Epidemic Disease, explores the ways theology, Catholic liturgy, priests, pastoral letters, rituals of statecraft, and village politics informed the use of techniques such as inoculation and vaccination for smallpox. He has published articles on the promotion of enlightened medicine in colonial Mexico’s periodical press, on a shrine devotion’s resurgence in Mexico City’s 1776 earthquake, and on a quarantine implemented during a 1797 smallpox epidemic from the perspective of peasants, artisans, and merchants subjected to it.


  James Schwoch

Jim Schwoch, Communication Studies
James Schwoch (Ph.D., School of Communication,  Northwestern) is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern. His work examines global media, media history, international studies, science and technology studies, and global security. Recent books include Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries, and Cultures (Rutgers, 2012), co-edited with Lisa Parks; and Global TV: New Media and the Cold War, 1946-69 (Illinois, 2009.) Schwoch has also published four other books and about fifty book chapters, articles, reviews, and similar. His research has been funded by NEH, NSF, Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission (Germany 1997, 2005) and he was the Leonard Marks Resident Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington) in 1997-98. Schwoch has held visiting professorships in Finland on three occasions (1994, 1996, 2005), lectured widely across North America and Europe, and advised many foundations and government agencies. His current project is a study of the telegraph in Western North America from 1845-1920. Themes include the relationship between the expansion of the telegraph in the Trans-Mississippi West and its impact on Native American containment; the particularities of landscapes and ecosystems upon the growth of telegraph networks; uses of the telegraph in geodesy, cartography, and determining longitude for time zones; and the role of the US Army Signal Corps in building telegraph capacity to foster practices of security, monitoring, and surveillance in American electronic communication networks, including the institutionalization of secure electronic communication capabilities in the White House.



Rebecca Seligman, Anthropology

Rebecca Seligman (Ph.D., Emory) is an assistant professor in Northwestern’s Department of Anthropology who works in the areas of medical anthropology, psychological anthropology, and transcultural psychiatry. Seligman is interested in the relationships of individual experience, social and political contexts, and cultural models of selfhood to outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, somatization, diabetes, and depression. She is also engaged with current neuroscience research concerning these phenomena, and has published several articles critically engaging with the field of cultural neuroscience. Her past research has explored the relationship among self-narrative, embodiment, and mental health among possession mediums in Northeastern Brazil and Mexican diabetes patients in the US.  Seligman’s current project investigates how Mexican-American adolescents engage in processes of self-making in relation to their experiences of patienthood in a psychiatric clinic.  Seligman is the author of the book Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion, as well as articles published in the journals Transcultural Psychiatry, Culture Medicine and Psychiatry, Medical Anthropology, Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, Progress in Brain Research and Ethos.  She is co-editor and contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience.



Mark Sheldon, Philosophy; Medical humanities and bioethics
Mark Sheldon, Assistant Dean in Weinberg College, is Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Weinberg College, as well the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern. His PhD is from Brandeis University, where he was awarded the Sachar Scholarship to study at Oxford University. He served as Adjunct Senior Scholar at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, and Senior Policy Analyst at the American Medical Association. He was appointed to a two year term on the Illinois Humanities Council Task Force on Genetics, and has published and presented talks on a variety of issues including informed consent, confidentiality, the forced transfusion of children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, children as organ donors, and disclosure. He is a faculty member in the Program in Ethics at Rush University Medical Center where he does clinical ethics consultations, and has served as guest editor of two journals – Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, and The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Formerly a member of the Committee on Philosophy and Medicine of the American Philosophical Association, he serves as co-editor of the Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine for the Association.


  Jane Smith

Jane Smith, History
Jane S. Smith (Ph.D., Yale) writes about the intersection of science and social history, primarily in nineteenth and twentieth century United States. She has taught the history of public health and written about the development, testing, and marketing of the first polio vaccine. Patenting the Sun: Polio and the Salk Vaccine, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for science and technology. The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants, winner of the 2010 Caroline Bancroft Prize for Western American History, relates the career of the charismatic plant “evoluter” Luther Burbank to the transformation of the farm and garden from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1930s. Her latest book, In Praise of Chickens (December 2011), is a compendium of over two millennia of scientific, philosophic, and artistic study of this mysterious, ubiquitous domestic fowl.


  Jacqueline Stevens

Jacqueline Stevens, Political Science
Jacqueline Stevens (Ph.D., Political Science, Berkeley) studies how political societies materialize and idealize intergenerational and religious group differences, especially those of the nation, ethnicity, race, the family, and sex. Her work is published in journals of political theory, public policy, law, sex/gender studies, and science studies. Her most recent book States Without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals (Columbia University Press, 2009) explores thought experiments inferring the consequences of eliminating laws that produce attachments to intergenerational groups, and specifies their violence and inequality. She also writes about racialized genetics reinvigorated by the Human Genome Project. For more information, please see

  Noelle Sullivan, Anthropology

Noelle Sullivan (Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Florida) is a  Lecturer in Global Health and Anthropology at Northwestern, with an affiliation with the Program of African Studies. She is critical medical anthropologist who explores the impacts of development aid and state health sector reforms on provision of healthcare within resource-deficient government health facilities in Tanzania. Overall, her work focuses on understanding global health initiatives as a set of practices that bring a vast array of people, policies, values, technologies and modes of governance together. Her current research span over two projects which explore international medical electives (IMEs) and volunteerism in healthcare facilities in the global South. One of these projects takes place in Tanzania, where she is using ethnographic methods to explore how hospitals market themselves as sites for 'global health experiences' in order to generate income and transnational relationships, and on the other hand, how volunteers, healthcare workers, and patients interact in order to achieve their desires or goals within these spaces of encounter. The other project interviews students and professionals in the Chicagoland area who previously participated on IMEs or volunteer placements within clinical spaces in the global South in order to explore the diversity of motivations, experiences, connections, and reflections that result from these kinds of global health encounters. Sullivan has published on the impact of HIV/AIDS initiatives on hospital governance and practice in Tanzania in Space and Culture  and Medical Anthropology, and on the medical brain drain out of African in African Diaspora



Claudia Swan, Art History

Claudia Swan (Ph.D., Art History, Columbia) is Associate Professor of Art History. She studies northern European visual culture 1400-1700, art and science, the history of collecting, and the history of the imagination. She is the author of The Clutius Botanical Watercolors. Plants and Flowers of the Renaissance and Art, Science, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Holland: Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629), which studies the intersection of empiricism and witchcraft in Holland in the early seventeenth century through the work of the Dutch artist. She is also co-editor with Londa Schiebinger of Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, Politics. Swan has held fellowships and grants from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, and the NEH. In 2013-2014 she was a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, where she completed a book manuscript on "Rarities of these Lands": Encounters with the Exotic and the Formation of the Dutch Republic, and a volume of essays called Image, Imagination, Cognition. Medieval and Early Modern Theory and Practice, which she is co-editing with Christoph Lüthy and Paul Bakker. She is also working on a digital project concerning Dutchman Ernst Brinck (1582-1649) that focuses on preserving and activating the exceptional annotations, inscriptions, lists, and commentaries contained in Brinck’s Adversaria (nearly fifty notebooks, never previously published or studied in detail) and three alba amicorum. She has published several articles on Dutch visual culture, and was a founding director of Northwestern University’s Program in the Study of Imagination.

  Keith Woodhouse, History

Keith Woodhouse (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin) is an assistant professor in the History department and the Environmental Policy and Culture program. His research focuses on environmental politics in the late-twentieth-century United States, and especially radical environmental thought and activism. 

  Sandy Zabell, Statistics and mathematics

Sandy Zabell (Ph.D., 1974, Harvard) is professor of statistics and mathematics.  His principal research interests revolve around mathematical probability (in particular, large deviation theory) and Bayesian statistics (in particular, the study of exchangeability). He is also interested in the history, philosophical foundations, and legal applications of probability and statistics.  His primary applied interests are in the areas of law and medicine.  His primary applied interests are in the areas of law and forensic sciences.  He is currently a member of the Science Advisory Board of the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences.

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Science in Human Culture, 020 University Hall, 1897 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208
tel: 847-491-3525 | fax: 847-467-2733
Director: Helen Tilley, University Hall, Room 025,
Administrator: Natasha Dennison, University Hall, Room 020,