My work brings illness alongside anthropological and philosophical concerns about death, pain, and existence. In my publications and teaching, I explore how techniques and institutional apparatuses emerge, and promise a certain hold over life. It is a promise vital in keeping capital and its system, one that demands an individual capacity to be in self-control, alive. In Untimely Sacrifices, my forthcoming book, I draw upon my ethnographic work in Finland, where rising concern over burnout, a stress disorder, raised a need for state-led techniques for self-management. Rather than focus on how society molds its members, I ask instead what is left out of the techno-medical promise for self-management, and what classic texts on exchange can add to our current concerns about stress. In my more recent work in Thailand, I have examined the role that global health movements play in local politics of mental health. My current research examines speed, both in terms of the acceleration of capital and methamphetamine addiction, in the context of the Thai construction industry.
I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 2011. Before joining Berkeley, I was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology at Aarhus University, as well as the Coordinator for the Master’s Program in Medical Anthropology there. My research has been sponsored by the Aarhus University Research Foundation, the IIE-Fulbright program, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. I have also held associations with Columbia University, University of Eastern Finland, Yale-NUS College, and UNESCAP.
“The Enigma of Exhaustion” (Special Issue with Anthropological Theory)
“The Space of Silence: Towards An Ethnography of Negativity” (Colloquy with Cultural Anthropology )
2017 In the Name of the People: Magic and the Enigma of Health Governance in Thailand. Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Issue 22, September.
2016 Rule by Good People: Health Politics and the Violence of Moral Authority in Thailand. Cultural Anthropology, 31(1): 106-129.
2013 Wrapped in Plastic: Transformation and Alienation in the New Finnish Economy. Cultural Anthropology, 28 (1): 1-21.
Untimely Sacrifices: Work and Death in Finland. (Under Review)