Fullwiley, Duana


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Associate Professor
Ph.D. UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco, 2002

I am an anthropologist of science and medicine interested in how social identities, health outcomes, and molecular genetic findings increasingly intersect. In my first book, The Enculturated Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa (Princeton, 2011), I draw on nearly a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in the US, France and Senegal. In it I bring the lives of people with sickle cell anemia together with how the science about them has been made. Winner of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Amaury Talbot Prize, The Enculturated Gene weaves together postcolonial genetic science, the effects of structural adjustment on health resources, and patient activism between Senegal and France to show how African sickle cell has been ordered in ethnic-national terms at the level of the gene. This work is situated within a larger conversation on ethics, power, and the ways that human biological material, within the context of culture, is rarely apolitical.

Since 2003, I have also conducted multi-sited field research in the United States on emergent technologies that measure human genetic diversity among populations and between individuals. As an outgrowth of this research, I have become particularly interested in how scientists promote civic ideas of “genetic citizenship,” how they enlist participant involvement in specific disease research problems, and how they also contribute to social movements of historical reckoning. In its detail, this second book project explores how U.S. political concepts of diversity, usually glossed as “race,” function in genetic recruitment protocols and study designs for research on complex diseases, “tailored medicine,” ancestry tracing, and personal genomics. This project will also examine the fraught relationship between private property and personal privacy with regards to biogenetic data.

My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Andrew and Florence White Fellows program in Medicine and the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. I have also been an invited scholar at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation in Paris (1997-1998, 2000 and 2002), a USIA Fulbright Scholar to Senegal, a fellow at the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2004-2005), and a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health (2005-2007). I recently completed a Scholars Award in NSF's Science & Society Program to research my second book called Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science.

See Duana Fullwiley's CV.

Contact Information: 
duana [at] stanford [dot] edu
Selected Publications: 

2011. The Enculturated Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biological Difference in West Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Winner of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Amaury Talbot Book Prize). More information. Download First Chapter.

2011. Can DNA ‘Witness’ Race?: Forensic Uses of an Imperfect Ancestry Testing Technology. In Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture. (Sheldon Krimsky, Kathleen Sloan, eds.) Pp. 116-26. New York: Columbia University Press. More information.

2010. Revaluating Genetic Causation: Biology, Economy, and Kinship in Dakar, Senegal. American Ethnologist. 37(4):638-735. (Granted Honorable Mention for the American Anthropological Association's General Anthropology Division (GAD) Award for Exemplary Cross Disciplinary Research in 2013). Download Article. More information.

2008. The Biologistical Construction of Race: `Admixture' Technology and the New Genetic Medicine. Social Studies of Science. 38(5):695-735. Download Article. More information.

2008. The Legitimacy of Genetic Ancestry Tests. Science. 319:1039-1040.

2008. Out From Under the Skin: Disease Etiology, Biology, and Society: A Commentary on Robert Aronowitz. Social Science & Medicine. 67(1):14-17.

2008. "The Molecularization of Race and Institutions of Difference: Pharmacy and Public Science after the Genome". Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age (Studies in Medical Anthropology). (B A Koenig, S S Lee, S Richardson, Eds.).:149-171., New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. More information.

2007. The Molecularization of Race: Institutionalizing Racial Difference in Pharmacogenetics Practice. Science as Culture. 16(1):1-30. Download Article.

2007. Race and Genetics: Attempts to Define the Relationship. BioSocieties. 2(2):221-237. More information.

2007. Racial Categories in Medical Practice: How Useful Are They? Public Library of Science Medicine (PLoS Medicine). 4(9):1423-1428. More information.

2007. The Science and Business of Ancestry Testing. Science. 318(5849):399-400. Download Article.

2006. Biosocial Suffering: Order and Illness in Urban West Africa. BioSocieties. 1(4):421-438. More information.

2004. Contingences de la maladie: les politiques culturelles de la souffrance en regard du trait drépanocytaire AS au Senegal. (Contingencies of illness: the cultural politics of sickle cell trait suffering in Senegal) in Agnès Lainé (ed.) . La drépanocytose: Regards croisés sur une maladie orpheline. (Agnes Laine, Ed.).:243-277., Paris: Karthala

2004. From Discriminate Biopower to Everyday Biopolitics: Views on Sickle cell Testing in Dakar. Medical Anthropology. 23(2):157-194.

1998. Race, Biology, and Illness: Barriers to Sickle Cell Patient Group Organization in the United States (Race, biologie et maladie: la difficile organisation des patients atteints de drépanocytose aux Etats-Unis). Sciences Sociales et Santé. 16(3):129-157