Crystal Biruk is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Oberlin College. Her research centers on the ethics and politics of intervention in the global South. She takes interest in how the growing presence of humanitarian, development, and scientific projects in sub-Saharan Africa reconfigures local social geographies, producing new kinds of status, mobility, expertise, and exclusions.
Her book (Duke University Press, 2018), titled Cooking Data: Culture and Politics in an African Research World, is an ethnography of the production of quantitative data by survey projects in Africa. She is beginning a second book project, tentatively titled Gay for Pay:The Labor of LGBT vulnerability in African NGO worlds, that takes interest in the emergence of same-sex identities and activism in Malawi, with particular focus on how 'lesbians' and 'gays' in Malawi come to occupy, perform, and know their vulnerability in the context of transnationally circulating LGBT-rights frames and language amid the AIDS epidemic.
This PECE essay helps to answer the STS Across Borders analytic question: “What people, projects, and products exemplify how this STS formation has developed over time?”
This essay highlights prominant and upcoming individuals working on critical science and technology issues in Africa and is part of a broader exhibit on "STS in Africa."