Selected Publications


2018 “On Band-Aids and Magic Bullets.”  Limn 9, Little Development Devices/Humanitarian Goods. Edited by Stephen J. Collier, Jamie Cross, Peter Redfield and Alice Street.

2016 (with Steven Robins) “An Index of Waste: Humanitarian Design, ‘Dignified Living’ and the Politics of Infrastructure in Cape Town.” Anthropology of Southern Africa, 39: 2: 145-162.

2016 “Fluid Technologies: The Bush Pump, the LifeStraw® and Microworlds of Humanitarian Design.” Social Studies of Science, 46(2): 159–183.

2016 “Doctors Without Borders and the Global Emergency.” Vital Signs: Medical Anthropology in the 21st Century, L. Manderson, A. Hardon and E. Cartwright, eds.  NY: Routledge, 359-363.

2016 Imagined Immunities” Invited Comment in theme issue on Clinic in Crisis. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry.

2015 ““A Measured Good”.” Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of Practice (S. Abramowitz and C. Panter-Brick, eds.) University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015, 242-251.

2015 (with Emma Kowal et al). “The Open Question: Medical Anthropology and Open Access.Medicine, Anthropology and Theory 2, no. 1: 75–94.

2015 “Shadow Stories” Invited contribution to Somatosphere Film Forum on In the Shadow of Ebola. Somatosphere medical anthropology blog (

2015 “Modernity as a Fragile Milieu” Invited contribution to Somatosphere Book Forum on Richard Keller’s Fatal Isolation Somatosphere medical anthropology blog (

2014   “Medical Vulnerability, or Where There Is No Kit.” Limn, issue 5 (Ebola’s Ecologies),

2014   “Triage sans frontières.” La médecine du tri: Histoire, éthique, anthropologie (G. Lachenal , C. Lefèvre, and V.K. Nguyen, eds.) Presses Universitaires de France. 81-102.

2014 Entry for “Human” in Commonplaces project, Somatosphere medical anthropology blog (

2013  Invited post in Society for Cultural Anthropology Field Notes blog: “Contact/Access: Provocation.”

2013 “Eyes Wide Shut in Transnational Science and Aid.” Comment on “Public Secrets in Public Health: Knowing Not to Know While Making Scientific Knowledge” (Geissler) American Ethnologist, 40: 1: 35-37.

2013 Life in Crisis: The Ethical Journey of Doctors Without Borders. Berkeley: University of California Press.

2012 “Sleeping Sickness and the Limits of ‘Biological Citizenship’” In W.Geissler, R. Rottenburg and J. Zenker, eds. Rethinking Biomedicine and Governance in Africa. (Transcript), 229-249.

2012  “Humanitarianism.” In A Companion to Moral Anthropology (D. Fassin, ed.) Malden, MA: Blackwell, 451-467.

2012 “The Unbearable Lightness of Expats: Double Binds of Humanitarian Mobility” Cultural Anthropology 27: 2 (May): 358-382.

2012 “Bioexpectations: Life Technologies as Humanitarian Goods.” Public Culture 24: 1 (Feb): 157-184.

2012 “Secular Humanitarianism and Sacred Life.” What Matters? Ethnographies of Value in a (Not So) Secular Age. (C. Bender and A. Taves, eds.). SSRC/Columbia University Press, 144-178.

2011 “Cleaning Up the Cold War: Global Humanitarianism and the Infrastructure of Crisis Response.” In Gabrielle Hecht, ed., Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War (MIT Press), 267-291.

2011 “The Impossible Problem of Neutrality.” Forces of Compassion: Humanitarianism Between Ethics and Politics. (Redfield & Bornstein, eds.) SAR Press, Advanced Seminar Series, 53-70.

2011 (co-edited with Erica Bornstein). Forces of Compassion: Humanitarianism Between Ethics and Politics. Santa Fe: SAR Press, Advanced Seminar Series.

2010 “The Verge of Crisis: Doctors Without Borders in Uganda.” In Contemporary States of Emergency: The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions (D. Fassin and M. Pandolfi, eds.), Zone Books. 173-195.

2009 (with Ed Rackley) “The Explosive Remnants of War.” In Catastrophe: Law, Politics, and the Humanitarian Impulse (A. Sarat and J. Lezaun, eds.) University of Massachusetts Press, 212-235.

2008 “Vital Mobility and the Humanitarian Kit.” In A. Lakoff and S. Collier, eds. Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question. NY: Columbia University Press, 147-171.

2008 “Sacrifice, Triage and Global Humanitarianism.” In M. Barnett and T. Weiss eds. Humanitarianism in Question: Politics, Power, Ethics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 196-214.

2008 “Doctors Without Borders and the Moral Economy of Pharmaceuticals.” In A. Bullard, ed., Human Rights in Crisis, Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Press, pp. 129-144.

2006 “A Less Modest Witness: Collective Advocacy and Motivated Truth in a Medical Humanitarian Movement” American Ethnologist, 33: 1 (Feb 2006): 3-26.

2005 “Doctors, Borders and Life in Crisis” Cultural Anthropology, 20:3 (Aug 2005): 328-361. Winner of the 2006 Cultural Horizons Prize, Society for Cultural Anthropology.

2005 Foucault in the Tropics: Displacing the Panopticon” Jonathan Xavier Inda, ed. Foucault and the Anthropology of Modernity. Blackwell Books, 50-79.

2005 “Biting the Hand that Feeds You.”  My Sweet La Mancha:  Invited and Voluntary Contributions, July-Oct 2005. Geneva: MSF International, 85-89.

2004 “A Few of His Favorite Things.” Review of My Cocaine Museum (Taussig), Anthropological Quarterly, featured new release section, 77:2: 355-363.

2003 (with Silvia Tomášková) “The Exile of Anthropology.” In Rebecca Saunders, ed. The Concept of the Foreign. Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield), 71-90.

2002 “The Half-Life of Empire in Outer Space.” Social Studies of Science (special issue on “Postcolonial Technoscience,” co-edited by Warwick Anderson and Gabrielle Hecht). 32: 6 (Dec.): 791-825.

2000 Space in the Tropics: From Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana. University of California Press.

1996  “Beneath a Modern Sky: Space Technology and its Place on the Ground.” Science, Technology and Human Values, 21: 3 (June): 251-274.

1992   “Remembering the Revolution, Forgetting the Empire: Notes after the French Bicentennial.”  Visual Anthropology Review, 8:2: 58-75.