Kristin Bright, Ph.D. (University of California Santa Cruz, 1998)
Research Keywords: Biomedicine, Islamic medicine, critical public health, gender, sexuality, nationalism, politics of care, aesthetics, digital transformations, social theory
Research Region: South Asia, Middle East, North America
Kristin Bright is interested in the transnational histories of biomedicine and Islamic medicine in South Asia, the Middle East, and North America. In her book manuscript, she looks at the cultural practices of Islamic medical epistemologies in state and community health in South Asia and the Middle East. In a second research area, she has been concerned with the relations and tensions between familial and clinical logics of care in cancer treatment in India, the Persian Gulf, and North America. In a third, more recent project, she is looking at the emergence of new understandings of intimacy, communication, and the self in mobile health technologies.
One thread that links these projects is a commitment to practice theory and to troubling assumptions about the body and power. How do people’s ideas about history, piety, desire, belonging, dispossession, and other social things profoundly shape how they think about, get access to, or participate in treatment for cancer, addiction or mental health? In terms of research design and fieldwork, Kristin takes both a more “traditional” ethnographic approach to questions of culture and power as well as more applied approaches to health systems problems.