Morrill Hall

Current STS Graduate Students

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Morrill Hall
Martin Abbott 
mja273@cornell.edu
Martin’s research is concerned with the nature and culture of climate change. This research is focused on how the conception of urban resilience promoted by the high-profile 100 Resilient Cities initiative intersects with urban politics, emerging technologies, and environmental change in the coastal cities of Chennai (India) and New Orleans (USA). Martin’s studies at Cornell are supported generously by the John Crampton Travelling Scholarship. Martin holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Master of Arts in Political Sociology from Sciences Po Paris. 

Brenda Castenada

Brenda (Bren) Castañeda 
bfc32@cornell.edu

Bren’s research interests include: nuclear disaster, apocalyptic imaginaries, environmental catastrophe, and speculative science fiction. They hope to dive into the global nuclear waste crisis to explore the aftermaths of radioactive contamination and the alterlives of those who face its impacts. They aim to examine the spread of environmental disasters as a racial justice issue to highlight inequalities faced by people in their experiences of earthly apocalyptic catastrophes. Bren’s previous research focused on the intersections of legal studies and STS in relation to forensic science, jury decision-making, and admissibility of evidence in court trials. Bren has a B.A. in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Wesleyan University, where they also completed the Science in Society Program. They received their M.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University. 
Amy Cheatle
Amy Cheatle 
ac2288@cornell.edu
Amy's work attends to new communities of craft, computation, and robotics, where collaborative and creative endeavors drive (extra)ordinary forms of work. Her ethnographic research has explored human-robot interactions within fine art furniture studios and operating rooms, giving shape to the ways in which sensual, tacit, and embodied forms of knowledge recalibrate and extend through new computational endeavors. 
Cat Coyle
Cat Coyle 
cmc569@cornell.edu 
Cat is a Ph.D. student who works at the intersection of science and technology studies, media studies, and the history of technology. Her research interests include the historical and material study of media and media transmission, and utilizes the techniques of media archaeology. She is interested in the study of failed, broken, and fossilized media technologies and phenomena. Cat received a B.A. in English from Saint Joseph’s University and an M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University. 
Shoshana Deush
Shoshana Deutsh 
smd338@cornell.edu
Shoshana's areas of interest are: Illness subjectivities of healthcare professionals; mental health and trauma; prevention and risk; anthropology of the body and bodily knowledges; nursing education, expertise and practices; medical training and professional knowledges; epistemologies of care; institutional ethnography; sensory studies; feminist science studies.

Amanda Domingues
Amanda Domingues 
aad247@cornell.edu

Amanda's current project is a critical analysis of (bio) archaeologists' work and (bio) archaeological practices. She is interested in notions of the body, issues of gender and race, heritage and museum practices. Additional research interests include animal, postcolonial, and feminist studies, and critical race theory. 
Mehmet Ekinci
Mehmet Ekinci
me332@cornell.edu
Mehmet's interests include: Sociology and anthropology of science-technology; laboratory studies; intellectual histories of life sciences, biomedicine, biotechnology and bioinformatics; social and critical theory; economics of science; new institutionalism; public engagement with science; science journalism; science fiction and STS.
Becca Harrison
Rebecca Harrison 
rah288@cornell.edu

Becca's research considers how agricultural biotechnologists are deliberate, ethical actors navigating both a complex regulatory structure and increasing public concern about genetic engineering. Specifically, she focuses on academic scientists at land-grant institutions (like Cornell), and is using tools from STS to imagine a more reflective type of public engagement around technology development.

Morrill Hall
Jiuheng He
jh2666@cornell.edu
Jiuheng's interests include: Emerging technology; social construction of technology; artificial intelligence; social media; scientism and modernization of China; sociology of scientific knowledge.
Morrill Hall
Christopher Hesselbein
clh268@cornell.edu
Christopher's research interests are: Social construction of technology; body studies; fashion studies; material culture studies; embodiment, comportment, and movement, aesthetics of technology; technique, skill, and tacit knowledge; digital technologies and search engine optimization; digital aesthetics and the senses.
Wanheng Hu
Wanheng Hu
wh429@cornell.edu
Wanheng's areas of interest are: Scientism and technocracy; artificial intelligence (AI), especially its application in medicine and healthcare; the sociology of knowledge and expertise, in particular on issues of credibility; the sociology of technology; science and the public; development studies and modernization, in particular agricultural modernization; the social history of science in modern China.
Barkha Kagliwal
Barkha Kagliwal
bsk76@cornell.edu

Barkha's dissertation is tentatively titled, "Understanding Processing: Food and Technoscience in India". One solution to the problem of food wastage in India could be processing, the thesis analyzes how processing technologies are shaping the food system. Using the case of Mega Food Parks, it illuminates interactions between food processing technologies, infrastructures and national policy design in changing the agri-food sector.

Keywords: Sociology of technology; economic sociology; market sociology; food studies; food quality; Indian food system; food processing technologies.

Faridah Laffan
Faridah Laffan
fel23@cornell.edu
Faridah's areas of interest include: 19th century archaeology; Victorian "Assyriomania"; interactions between imperialists and custodians of local knowledge in Ottoman empire; roles of race, gender, class, and religion in crystallization of Assyriology; 19th century museum practices. 
Lisa Lehner headshot
Lisa Lehner
ll723@cornell.edu

A PhD-Candidate at the department, Lisa is currently pursuing an ethnography about the effects of new Hepatitis C antiviral drugs on sufferers' illness experience and care practices in the context of welfare-state public health in Austria. Her research sits at the intersection of science & technology studies, medical anthropology, political science, and critical public health. In her work, she uses interdisciplinary approaches to highlight structural vulnerabilities and the downstream effects of pharmaceutical, biomedical, and public health measures, in particular on marginalized social groups. In general, she tends to think that we need to find better ways to live with viruses and viral infectivity. View her website

Lissette Lorenz
Lissette Lorenz 
ldl54@cornell.edu
Lissette's research is on the social impacts of nuclear disasters with a focus on Japanese and American experiences from WWII to post-Fukushima. 
Jason Ludwig
Jason Ludwig 
jdl328@cornell.edu

Jason is a PhD student in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. His research interests converge around race and health, slow disaster, and possibilities for a radical politics of science and technology. 

In 2019, he was a research assistant on "Mississippi. An Anthropocene River," an arts and research collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. He has co-organized Anthropocene Field Campuses in St. Louis, Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana with Kim Fortun, Scott Knowles and Tim Schütz.

Jeffrey Mathias

Jeffrey Mathias
jm2499@cornell.edu

Jeffrey is a historian of science, technology, and media. His dissertation, tentatively titled “An Empire of Solitude: Isolation and the Cold War Sciences of Mind,” examines isolation as both a Cold War matter of concern and a scientific object for psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and space medicine between 1948 and 1975. This project has been funded by NASA, the American Historical Association, and the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. Visit his website

Vishal Nyayapathi

Vishal Nyayapathi 
vn82@cornell.edu

Vishal is interested in the history and practice of urban ecology in Bengaluru, India. He especially thinks with queer, feminist and postcolonial theories; anthropology of religion; and efforts to enliven global political economies. Previously, he graduated from The George Washington University with a BA in Anthropology.

Morrill Hall
Donny Persaud 
dhp75@cornell.edu
Donny's research areas are: Infrastructure studies; repair and maintenance; rural studies; geographies of emerging technologies.
Andra Petriutiu
Andra Sonia Petrutiu 
ap794@cornell.edu
Combining STS and sociocultural anthropology, Sonia’s current research is theoretically situated at the intersection of infrastructure studies, technopolitics, and postcolonial science studies. Framed by a general concern with climate science and climate politics, she discusses how Indian climate modeling and supercomputing shape and are shaped by far-reaching technopolitical trajectories, changing discourses of self-reliant development, and the re-production of the postcolonial nation as well as state power via articulations of technoscientific nationalism. Another strand in Sonia’s work uses Indian climate modeling as an empirical case to examine postcolonial science studies vis-à-vis critical discourses on the Anthropocene in order to analyze the multilayered interplay between climate change, scientific knowledge and geopolitical power.
Morrill Hall
Sahar Tavakoli
st696@cornell.edu
Sahar's areas of interest include: Material culture studies, performativity, sociology of medicine and medical technology, identity and gender in relation to clinical technologies/spaces/practices, commonplace/invisible/mundane artifacts in technological spaces.

Elexis Williams

Elexis Williams
etw34@cornell.edu

Elexis Trinity is a PhD student in the field of Science and Technology Studies with a background in area studies, human and nonhuman rights. While their master’s research focused on Russian water policy during the latter twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, their current research interests mobilize around histories of science, environmental history/STS and knowledge-making, with a particular focus on the sea in human history, the making of underwater laboratories, and the spatialization of the oceans and seas in scientific practice, ecotourism, and conservation. 

Currently reading: anything about oceanography, marine archeology, or seascape epistemologies.
 

Yue Zhao

Yue Zhao
yz2765@cornell.edu

Yue's research interests include: history of AI and computing, particularly the history of facial detection; technologies and the self; body studies; STS in China; media archeology; algorithmic culture; material culture; visual culture. View Yue's website