Alison Kenner, PhD

Assistant Professor

Alison Kenner, PhD

Office: 3025 MacAlister

Curriculum Vitae: Download CV (PDF)


  • PhD, Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2012
  • MA, Women’s Studies, University at Albany, SUNY
  • BA, English, University at Albany, SUNY


I am an anthropologist trained in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). I specialize in the study of contemporary health practices, and how biomedical science and emerging technologies shape the way we understand and care for chronic disease conditions.

My research and teaching focus on 1) environmental health and the politics of care, 2) the spaces in which health and disease are produced (homes, cities, clinics, and public health networks), and 3) how embodied experiences of health and disease are technologically mediated. My current research examines the experiences of asthmatics and how asthma is cared for across different U.S. contexts; this project analyzes ethical and epistemic problems surrounding environmental health conditions.

As an instructor, my seminars are organized around the contemporary problems that drive social theory and research. The complex medical, environmental, and technological problems we face today demand interdisciplinary insight from social scientists and humanities scholars. In my courses, students learn how to think about and respond to these problems using cultural analysis. By evaluating data and knowledge claims, students gain an understanding of scientific controversies, the politics of technology, and the social organization of medical research, for example. I look forward to teaching STS courses on health, medicine, the body, and feminist theory as a new faculty member at Drexel.

Before joining Drexel, I was Managing Editor and Program Director at Cultural Anthropology, the journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology. I received my PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and my Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from the University at Albany, SUNY. With ten years of undergraduate teaching experience, I have taught courses on feminist theory, social justice, and service learning as well as the thesis seminar in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer.

Selected Publications