New Associate Member - Cal Biruk

Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Welcome to Cal Biruk, our newest Associate Member!

Cal Biruk is Associate Professor of Anthropology. Cal is the author of Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World (Duke University Press, 2018); the book draws on ethnographic work in Malawi to trace the social lives of quantitative health data collected by population scientists, and shows how data reflect and cohere new social relations, persons, forms of expertise, and economies. Cal is also the author of numerous articles that have appeared in journals such as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Critical Public Health, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Medicine Anthropology Theory, Journal of Modern African Studies, and Critical African Studies. Cal’s research and teaching interests include: medical anthropology, critical global health studies, postcolonial science and technology studies, anthropologies of quantification and data, histories of anthropological theory, and queer studies. Cal is working on a few projects, including one that theorizes global health—as knowledge project, form of governance, and site of resource distribution—from the perspective of small, seemingly minor objects. This book-in-progress curates global health technologies and devices such as flipcharts, HIV tests, packets of condoms, NGO vehicles, and annual reports, and analyzes the racialized relations, affects (such as trust and suspicion), and economies they assemble amid aid geographies and audit culture. Cal is also working on a project that theorizes fitness wearables as queer technologies amid the datafication of health and bodies, and beginning a new project that tracks the thing-concept of “African health”, and the relations, technologies, and ways of knowing it has cohered from the era of tropical medicine to Covid-19 in Malawi. Cal enjoys travel, running, marine life, hiking, and gardening.