May 26th, 2011
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Professor of Anthropology
Paul Rabinow (1944-) is Professor of Anthropology
at the University of California (Berkeley), Director of the Anthropology
of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and Director
of Human Practices for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research
Center (SynBERC). He is perhaps most famous for his widely influential
commentary and expertise on the French philosopher Michel Foucault.
His major works include Marking Time: On the
Anthropology of the Contemporary (2007); Anthropos
Today: Reflections on Modern Equipment (2003); Essays on the
Anthropology of Reason (1996), Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology
(1993); French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment
(1989); The Foucault Reader (1984), Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism
and Hermeneutics (1983) (with H. Dreyfus); Reflections on Fieldwork
in Morocco (1977 & 2007).
"My work has
consistently centered on modernity as a problem: problem for those seeking
to live with its diverse forms, a problem for those seeking to advance
or resist modern projects of power and knowledge. This work
has ranged from descendants of a Moroccan saint coping with the changes
wrought by colonial and
post-colonial regimes, to the wide array of knowledges and
power relations entailed in the great assemblage of social
planning in France, to my work of the last decade on molecular biology
I now call this approach an anthropology of reason. Anthropos
+ logos. Who are the humans at issue and what knowledges constitute
them and help them to understand themselves and their environments.
My current research centers on developments in post-genomics
and molecular diagnostics. It seeks to invent an analytic framework
to understand the issues of bio-politics and bio-security. A related
research interest is the contemporary moral terrain with special attention
to 'affect.' "
Dr. Paul Rabinow