Fisher Center Welcomes Sunder Rajan – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Welcomes Sunder Rajan

Kaushik Sunder Rajan will join the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men for his talk, “The Scandal of the Trial: HPV Vaccines, Knowledge / Value, and Experimental Subjectivity,” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.

Sunder Rajan will join the year-long discussion on gender, collectivity and the common. His talk will delve into the April 2010 decision of the Indian Council for Medical Research to halt experimental administration of Gardasil, a vaccine developed by Merck to prevent human papilloma virus infection. The vaccine was being given to tribal girls in Bhadrachalam.

In his talk, Sunder Rajan will use the controversy to examine the current state of the politics surrounding Indian health and healthcare today – and the mentality surrounding pharmaceuticals in the country in particular. His talk is expected to beg the question of what influence politics has on the global logics of biocapital. And what kinds of experimental subjectivity get produced as a consequence?

Sunder Rajan is an associate professor of anthropology and social sciences at the University of Chicago. He earned a Ph.D. in history and social studies of science and technology, though he was initially trained as biologist. His work has focused mainly on the increased corporatization of life science research, new technologies within life sciences and the global emergence of each.

He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, and he recently wrote the book, “Biocapital: The Constitution of Post-Genomic Life.” Sunder Rajan is also the editor of, “Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics and Governance in Global Markets.”

Established in 1998, the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society. For more information, visit