Participant Bios

Ruha Benjamin, Boston University, Sociology and Harvard Kennedy School of Government

      Ruha Benjamin is Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American studies at Boston University and an American Council of Learned Societies fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Science, Technology, and Society Program. She has just completed a book, People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press 2013), which examines ethnoracial, gender, class, and disability politics as a constitutive feature of stem cell research, and is continuing research on a second project Provincializing Science: Mapping & Marketing Ethnoracial Diversity in the Genomic Age. Ruha received her BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Spelman College (2001), MA and PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley (2008), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA’s Institute for Society & Genetics (2010). She has received grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and California Institute for Regenerative Medicine among others.

Catherine Bliss, University of California San Francisco, Sociology

      Dr. Catherine Bliss is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California San Francisco and Brown University’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow in Biomedicine, Medical Humanities, and Science & technology Studies. Her research explores the sociology of race, gender and sexuality in medicine, though she is especially interested in scientific controversies in molecules science. Bliss’s book Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice (Stanford University Press 2012) examines how genomics became today’s new science of race. Her latest project examines convergences in social and genetic science in the postgenomic age.

Rogers Brubaker, University of California Los Angeles, Sociology

      Rogers Brubaker is Professor of Sociology at UCLA. He has written widely on social theory, immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and ethnicity. His most recent books include Ethnicity without Groups (2004) and Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town (2006).

Mary Campbell, Texas A&M University, Sociology

      Mary E. Campbell is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on two related themes: racial inequality – how race and ethnicity shape all aspects of American life – and racial identification – how individuals are racially classified in surveys and in daily interactions. Her work has appeared in journals such as the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, Social Science Research and Ethnic and Racial Studies and has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Science Foundation. Her ongoing work examines inequality both within and between racial and ethnic groups in the United States, and the ways in which the construction of measures of race and ethnicity shape our understanding of inequality. Her work helps to address emerging questions about how we can understand racial inequality when racial boundaries are both fluid (over time and across situations) and shifting.

Joan Fujimura, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology

      Joan H. Fujimura is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and came to Madison to build the Science and Technology Studies Program and the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Research on Science and Technology. UW STS is one of perhaps three new STS programs built in the U.S. in last ten years. Before coming to Madison, she was the Henry R. Luce Professor for Biotechnology and Society at Stanford University. Prior to her Stanford professorship, she was Assistant Professor in Sociology at Harvard University. Fujimura has been a research scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, NYC; a member in the School of Social Science, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study; an Abe Fellow at the University of Tokyo, Japan; and won a Fulbright Fellowship to teach in Hiroshima, Japan (declined). In addition to these fellowships, Fujimura has also won major research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) as grants and fellowships from Institutes within the University of Wisconsin, Stanford University, and Harvard University.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University, W.E.B Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research (Book Project Participant)

      Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He is the author of Faces of America (New York University Press, 2010), which expands on interviews he conducted for his critically acclaimed PBS documentary series of the same name, and Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Criticism in the African Diaspora (Basic Books, 2010). Professor Gates is Editor-in-Chief of, a daily online magazine focusing on issues of interest to the African American community and written from an African American perspective, and the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American and Africana Studies. He is co-editor, with K. Anthony Appiah, of Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. With Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, he is the co-editor of the eight-volume biographical encyclopedia African American Lives (Oxford, 2008).

Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University, Government

      Jennifer Hochschild is the Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Harvard College Professor at Harvard University. She also holds lectureships in in the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2011, she held the John R. Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. She studies and teaches about the intersection of American politics and political philosophy — particularly in the areas of race, ethnicity, and immigration — as well as educational and social welfare policies, genomics and politics, and public opinion and political culture. Most recently, Hochschild was a co-author of Creating a New Racial Order: How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America, with Vesla Weaver and Traci Burch (Princeton University Press, 2012) and co-editor of Bringing Outsiders In: Transatlantic Perspectives on Immigrant Political Incorporation, with John Mollenkopf (Cornell University Press, 2009). She also wrote The American Dream and the Public Schools, co-authored with Nathan Scovronick (Oxford University Press, 2003), Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation (Princeton University Press, 1995), and other books and articles. In 2013-14, she will be a Straus Fellow the the New York University School of Law.

Jay Kaufman, McGill University, Epidemiology & Biostatistics

      Jay S. Kaufman holds a doctorate in epidemiologic science from the University of Michigan (1995). After a post-doctoral position at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine (Chicago, IL) from 1995-1997, he was Medical Epidemiologist at Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte, NC) from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 through 2008 he held a positions as Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health at Chapel Hill and as Faculty Fellow of the Carolina Population Center. In 2009 he began his current position as Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Disparities in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. He is also currently appointed as Visiting Professor in the School of Public Health of the University of Chile, Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health (Ann Arbor, MI), and Adjunct Professor Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC). Dr. Kaufman’s work focuses on social epidemiology, analytic methodology, causal inference and on a variety of health outcomes including perinatal outcomes and cardiovascular, psychiatric and infectious diseases. He is an editor at the journal “Epidemiology” and an associate editor at “American Journal of Epidemiology”. With J. Michael Oakes he is the co-editor of the textbook “Methods in Social Epidemiology”. He has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Michael Keevak, National Taiwan University, Foreign Languages and Literatures

      Michael Keevak is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University. His books include Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking (Princeton, 2011); The Story of a Stele: China’s Nestorian Monument and its Reception in the West, 1625-1916 (Hong Kong, 2008); and The Pretended Asian: George Psalmanazar’s Eighteenth-Century Formosan Hoax (Detroit, 2004).

Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Stanford University, Center for Biomedical Ethics (Book Project Participant)

      Sandra Soo-Jin Lee is a medical anthropologist whose work probes the social and cultural contexts of emerging genetic technologies and their application in biomedicine. Dr. Lee’s research includes several ongoing projects related to the social and ethical implications of human genetic variation research. A long standing interest is on the meaning of “race” and scientific and public understandings of genetic differences and their potential impact on pharmacogenomics, the public health goal of eliminating health disparities and justice in healthcare. Dr. Lee is co-editor of Revisiting Race in a Genomic Age (2008) and is currently working on a book entitled, American DNA: Race, Justice and the New Genetic Sciences. Dr. Lee also studies the development of personal genomics and the commercialization of genetic sequencing technologies. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on social networking and personal genomic information, investigating the circulation of genetic information and the implications of the shifting boundary between consumers and patients in direct-to-consumer genetics.

Mara Loveman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sociology

      Mara Loveman is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a comparative-historical and political sociologist with broad interests in racial and ethnic politics, nationalism, and the state. She is also a Latin Americanist who studies inequality and the politics of development in the region. Her research has appeared in leading journals, including American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Theory and Society, and Social Science Research, among others. She recently completed her first book, National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).

Ann Morning, New York University, Sociology

      Ann Morning is an Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University and a faculty affiliate of New York University Abu Dhabi. Her research interests include race, demography, and the sociology of science, especially as they pertain to census classification worldwide and to individuals’ concepts of racial difference. Her doctoral thesis was a co-recipient of the American Sociological Association’s 2005 Dissertation Award, and was published in 2011 by the University of California Press with the title The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference. Prof. Morning was the recipient of a 2008-09 Fulbright research award to visit the University of Milan-Bicocca, and has consulted on racial statistics for the European Commission in Brussels and the U.S. Census Bureau. She holds her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.

Alondra Nelson, Columbia University, Sociology

      Alondra Nelson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University. An interdisciplinary social scientist, she writes about the intersections of science, technology, medicine, and inequality. She is the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (Minnesota, 2011), which received three professional prizes, including the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the American Sociological Association (Section on Race, Gender, and Class). She is also an editor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History (with Keith Wailoo and Catherine Lee; Rutgers, 2012), Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life (with Thuy Linh Tu; NYU, 2001), and “Afrofuturism” (a special issue of Social Text, 2002). Her essays, reviews, and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Review, and Science, among other publications. Her next book, The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome, will be published next year by Beacon Press. Professor Nelson has held fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Kenneth J. Meier, Texas A&M University, Political Science

      Dr. Ken Meier is the Charles H. Gregory Chair of Liberal Arts and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University and Professor of Public Management at the Cardiff School of Business, Cardiff University (Wales). His current research interests include questions of representation and equity in regard to race and ethnicity and the role that public program management has on effective governance.

Wendy Roth, University of British Columbia, Sociology

      Wendy D. Roth is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University. Her research focuses on how social processes challenge racial boundaries and transform classification systems. In 2007, Dr. Roth received the American Sociological Association Dissertation Award for her research on how migration processes affect concepts of race – for the migrants, for the host society, and for those who remain in the sending societies is the basis of her book Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race, published by Stanford University Press in 2012. Wendy Roth has also published on the racial identification of children from interracial marriages, the transmission of panethnic identities through migration, the impact of working in ethnic enclaves for immigrants’ economic success, and how immigrants’ racial attitudes are shaped transnationally. She is a co-author of Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, published by Basic Books in 2004. Wendy Roth was named a Junior Early Career Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC. She has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada and from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for her current project examining the social impact of genetic ancestry testing on conceptions of race and racial attitudes.

Carolyn Rouse, Princeton University, Anthropology

      Carolyn Rouse is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on why people accept systems of inequality. When people learn about social inequality extant in other cultures they often react with horror. Examples include the caste system, burqas, female circumcision, and different forms of servitude. While we find it easy to state what is wrong with social systems out there, beyond our cultural borders, people generally find it difficult to recognize power and mystification in their own backyards. Rouse’s work on race and inequality examines the discourses and practices that are used to rationalize forms of suffering as well as to negate them. The notion that ours is a meritocratic system is one example. The American ideal that social rewards are tied to merit is how we rationalize wealth inequality. While this belief helps us make sense of racial disparities, for example, it also compels us to open up opportunities for some of the poorest citizens as well. Rouse’s fieldwork focuses on four domains; religion, medicine, education and development. Each of these domains provides different cultural strategies for social transformation. For African American Muslims, Qur’anic exegesis becomes a tool for negotiating within the ummah and for imaging new social and personal possibilities. In biomedicine, scientific authority and operationalized treatment protocols are used to delegitimate suffering and to redirect health care resources. Education and development are tools for shaping the subjectivity and sociality of the poor.

Sharmila Rudrappa, University of Texas, Sociology

      Sharmila Rudrappa, a South-Asian-American Studies Scholar, is also a sociologist who specializes in gender and immigration issues. Her book, Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship (Rutgers University Press, 2004), is an ethnography of a shelter for battered South Asian American women, and a cultural organization in Chicago. The book contextualizes immigrant race politics within the larger cultural turn we see in the sphere of American politics in the late 20th century. A companion article, “Radical Caring In An Ethnic Shelter: South Asian American Women Workers At Apna Ghar, Chicago,” was recently published in Gender and Society. At present, Dr. Rudrappa is working on how globalization affects the social rights of citizenship.

Arthur Sakamoto, University of Texas Austin, Sociology (starting Sept. 2013, Texas A&M University, Sociology)

      Arthur Sakamoto’s research interests center on social stratification and inequality, economic sociology, and racial/ethnic relations. One part of his research seeks to understand the fundamental sources of inequality and their underlying mechanisms. This part of his work is concerned with analyzing income dispersion, productivity, relative deprivation, labor force queuing, market segmentation, and exploitation. These investigations often further involve processes relating to education, occupation, labor market sectors, industries and unions. A portion of his work in this regard includes an international component. In particular, he has several publications on Japan, Taiwan, and Mexico. Another part of his research investigates socioeconomic inequalities in regard to racial/ethnic minorities such as Asian Americans. These studies do not attempt to identify and parameterize the underlying processes generating inequality, but are instead concerned with detailing how they differentially affect racial/ethnic groups in terms of their educational attainments and labor force outcomes. This part of his work is more closely related to traditional studies of the stratification and status attainment processes of racial/ethnic minorities in the U.S. However, it also includes a substantial demographic focus relating to regional migration as well as international immigration and assimilation.

Shirley Hsiao-Li Sun, Nanyang Technological University, Sociology

      Shirley Hsiao-Li SUN (Ph.D. Sociology) is the author of Population Policy and Reproduction in Singapore: Making Future Citizens (Routledge, 2012). Dr. Sun is also the Principal Investigator of the research project “Ethical and Social Implications of Prominent Human Genetic Research in Asia” (2011-2014) funded by the Singapore Ministry of Education, and is particularly interested in how human molecular biologists define “population” in their works and the social consequences of the DNA technology in the realm of healthcare and forensics. Updates of her journal articles and book chapters can be located online at: http://works.bepress.come/shirleysun.

Kazuko Suzuki, Texas A&M University, Sociology (Organizer)

      Kazuko Suzuki is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, in 2009-10. She was a Visitor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton in 2008-09. Previously, she lectured at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI) at Columbia University. She was also an Abe Fellow of the Social Science Research Council, a postdoctoral fellow in the Expanding East Asian Studies Program at Columbia University, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University. She specializes in International Migration, Race and Ethnic Relations (both U.S. domestic and international comparisons), Gender and Sexuality, and East Asian Studies. She has fieldwork experience in Japan and Russia as well as in the US. Her research interests include: modes of incorporation and immigrant adaptation from an international comparative perspective; historical and regional analysis of ‘race’ beyond the Western paradigm, as well as cross-disciplinary analysis of ‘race’; and gender and sexuality in Japanese popular culture media. She is currently finishing a book manuscript, Divided Fates: The State, Race, and Korean Immigrants in Japan and the United States.

Diego von Vacano, Texas A&M University, Political Science (Co-Organizer)

      Diego von Vacano is Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University. He spent the academic year 2009-2010 as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He was a Member of the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, NJ, during 2008-2009. He received his doctorate in Politics from Princeton University and his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University. He studied in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University. He works mainly in Comparative Political Theory (modern Latin American and European political thought) and also in immigration ethics, especially in relation to race and ethnicity. The authors he focuses on are Machiavelli, Las Casas, Nietzsche, Bolivar, and Vasconcelos. He is the author of The Color of Citizenship: Race, Modernity and Latin American/Hispanic Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 2011) and The Art of Power: Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the Making of Aesthetic Political Theory (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).