Top of the Heap: Adia Benton

This article is part of the series:

For this installment of Top of the Heap, I was delighted to work with Assistant Professor Adia Benton from Northwestern University.


I think it’s probably common for people to talk about how large their book heap is. Mine is no different. I’m at the end of my sabbatical and the beginning of my maternity leave. The former should have left …


Disability as Diversity: A New Biopolitics

This article is part of the series:

We’re a medical anthropologist and a literary critic, and while our research interests seemingly have little overlap, we found ourselves engaged in a series of conversations about how the language of diversity shapes representations of disability and reproductive politics, and how this representation stems from the biopolitical management of life in the twenty-first century. In the short essay that follows, …


Pharmaceutical Prosthesis and White Racial Rescue in the Prescription Opioid “Epidemic”

This article is part of the series:


A U.S. public discourse of addiction as a disabling psychiatric condition (as opposed to a moral flaw or social deviancy) was codified into Social Security policy in 1972, following its emergence in post-war clinical science and popular media (Conrad & Schneider, 1980; Duster, 1970). In recent years, this discourse has taken divergent forms in policy and media debates surrounding …


Policing at the Synapse: Ferguson, Race, and the Disability Politics of the Teen Brain

This article is part of the series:

In February 2014, University of Missouri (“Mizzou”) students made national news when they formed a human wall to protest the Westboro Baptist Church’s presence on their campus. Westboro arrived to denounce Michael Sam, a gay “Mizzou Tiger” who would become the first openly gay NFL player. Mizzou students eagerly donned “Stand with Sam” rainbow buttons and “WE ARE ALL COMOSEXUAL” …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Transportation Technologies and Futures

This month’s Web Roundup is about transportation—technologies, politics, and histories. Much of it has to do with driverless/autonomous cars, which have been in the news a lot this month.

Time has a piece on the technical details of how driverless cars work, and what hurdles need to be overcome before they do. The Atlantic’s CityLab has an interesting article on …


Jonathan Xavier Inda’s Racial Prescriptions

PPCspine22mmRacial Prescriptions: Pharmaceuticals, Difference, and the Politics of Life

by Jonathan Xavier Inda

Ashgate, 2014, 148 pages.


Racial Prescriptions provides an eloquent and theoretically-engaged account of the story of BiDil, a pharmaceutical that has become an iconic case for scholars of race in science and medicine. When BiDil was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in …