Rebekah Ciribassi (she/her/hers) is a PhD Candidate at Cornell University Department of Anthropology, with a concentration in Science and Technology Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Women’s Studies. She is currently completing her dissertation as a Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University.
Her research interests concern genetic medicine and other forms of biomedical science as enmeshed in and actively co-productive of political, sensory, and social practice. She is more broadly interested in the political stakes of defining the boundaries of life itself, and especially the diverse temporalities that are mobilized in that boundary-making.
Her dissertation, “Fierce Blood and Gentle Genes: Sickled Cells and the Fabrication of Intergenerational Bodies in Tanzania” is the culmination of two years of dedicated fieldwork (2018-2020) in Northwest Tanzania and the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar. It centers the emergent prioritization of sickle cell disease in the landscape of medical care in Tanzania, and the modes of bodily time that diagnosed families must traffic in as part of the transition to intergenerational medicine. Through a lens on and through sickled cells, this project is able to probe the broader categories of race, reproduction and gender, the politics of knowledge production, and the historicity of bodily life in two African nations. This research has received generous support from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Cornell University, The Fulbright-Hays Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation.
She is also interested in cultivating alternative and experimental forms of expressing ethnography, especially science fiction, poetry, and visual art.