I am a cultural anthropologist working in the fields of medical anthropology and medical humanities; feminist and postcolonial science and technology studies (STS); visual anthropology; and Southeast Asia Studies. My work includes participatory filmmaking, ethnographic and historical analysis of medical imaging, and community-based inquiry of archival images.
My book project, Fixing the Image (under review), based on over two years of ethnographic and archival research in Cambodia and France, examines contemporary medical imaging services in Phnom Penh. I explore how imaging services relate to the importance of images and seeing in medical and other healing practices, to the reconfiguration of public and private health care, and to expectations for techno-modernity across political regimes. Connecting technological and spiritual ways of seeing the body, in which doctors and healers describe their diagnostic practice as the ability to see with and through interference, suggests a modest objectivity, for humans and machines, and a different typology of expertise.
A second project, in development, is a collaboration with malaria scientists on drug resistance and migration in the Greater Mekong Subregion. My interest is how parasitologists, entomologists, and epidemiologists grapple with histories of drug resistance as they develop techniques for surveillance and elimination. As Cambodia becomes a site of experimental global health science, it raises questions about the directionality of knowledge production and transfer, and the ways in which particular diseases configure novel understandings of how humans, microbes, medicines, and environments live, transform, and die together.
A third area of research has to do with public scholarship and critical archive studies. The Archive Actions project, explored methods of opening the Elizabeth Becker Collection to Cambodian and Cambodian American publics for the creative production of critical histories. The LuceSEA project, 'Tracing authoritarianism: Linking Southeast Asia with Southeast Asian America through archives, language, and pedagogy’, is a collaboration with the Bophana Center and the Center for Khmer Studies, among many other institutions, that will explore forms of empiricism, art, and activism as archive-based responses to contemporary authoritarianisms in Southeast Asia and the U.S.
I teach undergraduate courses in medical anthropology and STS, visual studies, and Southeast Asia Studies, and graduate courses in sociocultural theory. I mentor students in Anthropology, Southeast Asia Studies, and the Science, Technology, and Society Studies Certificate Program, and serve on student committees in a range of disciplines, including Built Environments, Political Science, and Museology. I am core faculty in the Medical Anthropology & Global Health program, a unique and thriving undergraduate track in the Department of Anthropology.