Shannon Dugan Iverson, University of Texas
Darren Byler, University of Washington
Over the years, Cultural Anthropology has published a wide range of essays that deal with the related themes of narrative, discourse, and rhetoric. Addressing subjects as seemingly far-flung as conspiracy theories, folklore, discursive regimes, and the constitution of publics, this body of work investigates the relation between modes of story-telling and the politics of everyday life and interrogates the changing social and technological conditions that mediate linguistic communication.
Supplemental composed by Alison Marie Kenner, RPI, October 2007
S. Lochlann Jain
The academic literature still tends to take Audre Lorde as the primary feminist theorist of breast cancer, and her The Cancer Journals (1997) remains, nearly three decades out, the definitive word on breast cancer and gender theory. In this article, Jain revisits the cultures and politics of cancer, offering a queer analysis of breast cancer in the U.S.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S. Lochlann Jain is an assistant professor of cultural and social anthropology at Stanford University. Professor Jain's research is primarily concerned with the ways in which stories get told about injuries, how they are thought to be caused, and how that matters. Figuring out the political and social significance of these stories has led to the study of law, product design, medical error, and histories of engineering, regulation, corporations, and advertising.
Her widely reviewed book, Injury, (Princeton University Press, 2006) aims to better understand how certain products come to be understood as dangerous, while others do not -- and what these differences can illustrate about differences such as race and gender and historically contingent notions such as responsibility and negligence.
Jain’s current work offers an analysis of the cause and treatment of cancer as a key modality through which American high-tech is experienced and explained.
Her other research interests include extra-legal forms of communications, such as warning signs and medical apologies; queer studies; art and design.
Jain was awarded the Cultural Horizons Prize by the Society for Cultural Anthropology for best article published in the journal Cultural Anthropology in 2004. She was a National Humanities Center Fellow in 2006, and is currently a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center.
For more information, please see Lochlann Jain's website.
In the November 2007 issue of Cultural Anthropology, S. Lochlann Jain challenges apparently well-intentioned pink ribbon campaigns promoting breast cancer awareness, arguing that the campaigns deflect attention from the causes of breast cancer and fail to support diverse “illness identities.” Jain’s essay, “Cancer Butch,” examines how U.S. breast cancer culture is shaped by “pink marketing” and “corporate care,” in ways that deny suffering, deny differences among women with breast cancer, and obfuscate corporate interests. The essay begins at an elaborate breast cancer awareness event at a BMW dealership, where attendees could drive a sports car with a pink-ribbon paint job.