About Laura Stark

Laura Stark is Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Medicine, Health, and Society.

NBN Episodes hosted by Laura:

Arleen Tuchman, "Diabetes: A History of Race and Disease" (Yale UP, 2020)

April 21, 2023


Arleen Tuchman
Hosted by Laura Stark

Arleen Marcia Tuchman’s book, Diabetes: A History of Race and Disease (Yale UP, 2020), tells the American history of a disease that continues to defy …

Cristina Mejia Visperas, "Skin Theory: Visual Culture and the Postwar Prison Laboratory" (NYU, 2022)

April 13, 2023

Skin Theory

Cristina Mejia Visperas
Hosted by Laura Stark

An abolitionist approach to STS and the history of the life sciences: this is the model that Cristina Mejia Visperas offers in her book, Skin Theory: …

Dan Bouk, "Democracy's Data: The Hidden Stories in the U.S. Census and How to Read Them" (MCD, 2022)

December 8, 2022

Democracy's Data

Dan Bouk
Hosted by Laura Stark

Dan Bouk is a writer, professor, and cultural historian of quantification, or as Bouk puts it, the history all fascinating things “shrouded in the clo…

Autumn Womack, "The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthetic Experiment of Racial Data, 1880–1930" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

December 8, 2022

The Matter of Black Living

Autumn Womack
Hosted by Laura Stark

Autumn Womack is a professor of English and of African American Studies at Princeton University. Her new book, The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthet…

Alicia Puglionesi, "In Whose Ruins: Power, Possession, and the Landscapes of American Empire" (Scribner, 2022)

May 18, 2022

In Whose Ruins

Alicia Puglionesi
Hosted by Laura Stark

The important new book by Alicia Puglionesi, In Whose Ruins: Power, Possession and the Landscapes of American Empire (Scribner, 2022), is a fat sample…

Rana A. Hogarth, "Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780-1840" (UNC Press, 2017)

April 28, 2022

Medicalizing Blackness

Rana A. Hogarth
Hosted by Laura Stark

Medicine and slavery went hand-in-hand. But what was the nature of this vile partnership? In Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the A…

Anthony Hatch, "Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America" (U Minnesota Press, 2019)

April 28, 2022

Silent Cells

Anthony Hatch
Hosted by Laura Stark

It’s no secret that the United States has the most expansive prison system of any nation in the world. And the US carceral system overwhelmingly and u…

Noémi Tousignant, "Edges of Exposure: Toxicology and the Problem of Capacity in Postcolonial Senegal" (Duke UP, 2018)

December 9, 2021

Edges of Exposure

Noémi Tousignant
Hosted by Laura Stark

What is “capacity”? In science research and health interventions, it typically refers to the relative availability of equipment, infrastructure, perso…

Britt Rusert, "Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture" (NYU Press, 2017)

December 9, 2021

Fugitive Science

Britt Rusert
Hosted by Laura Stark

Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture (NYU Press, 2017), by Professor Britt Rusert (UMass-Amherst), has already e…

Mary A. Brazelton, "Mass Vaccination: Citizens' Bodies and State Power in Modern China" (Cornell UP, 2019)

April 30, 2021

Mass Vaccination

Mary Augusta Brazelton
Hosted by Laura Stark

Mary Brazelton’s new book, Mass Vaccination: Citizens’ Bodies and State Power in Modern China (Cornell UP, 2019) could hardly be more timely. During t…

Elise K. Burton, "Genetic Crossroads: The Middle East and the Science of Human Heredity" (Stanford UP, 2021)

April 29, 2021

Genetic Crossroads

Elise K. Burton
Hosted by Laura Stark

Elise K. Burton’s important book, Genetic Crossroads: The Middle East and the Science of Human Heredity (Stanford University Press, 2021), documents …

Nancy D. Campbell, "OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose" (MIT Press, 2020)

December 3, 2020


Nancy D. Campbell
Hosted by Laura Stark

Reducing harm or shrinking the likelihood of accidental death are remarkably contentions projects—in areas from sex education, to pandemic management,…

Lundy Braun, "Breathing Race into the Machine" (U Minnesota Press, 2014)

December 4, 2019

Breathing Race into the Machine

Lundy Braun
Hosted by Laura Stark

“We cannot get answers to questions we don't ask.” Lundy Braun’s influential book, Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spiro…

Rosalind Fredericks, "Garbage Citizenship: Vital Infrastructures of Labor in Dakar, Senegal" (Duke UP, 2018)

December 4, 2019

Garbage Citizenship

Rosalind Fredericks
Hosted by Laura Stark

They were throwing garbage in the streets. Rosalind Fredericks makes sense of the garbage-scape of Dakar, Senegal in the wake of the 2007 trash “re…

Aimi Hamraie, "Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability" (U Minnesota Press, 2017)

April 25, 2018

Building Access

Aimi Hamraie
Hosted by Laura Stark

The Americans with Disability Act passed in 1990, but it was just one moment in ongoing efforts to craft the meaning and practice of “good design” tha…

Susan M. Squier, "Epigenetic Landscapes: Drawings as Metaphor" (Duke UP, 2017)

April 17, 2018

Epigenetic Landscapes

Susan M. Squier
Hosted by Laura Stark

Susan M. Squier’s book, Epigenetic Landscapes: Drawings as Metaphor (Duke University Press, 2017) is about development— biological and ecological. It…

Michelle Murphy, "The Economization of Life" (Duke UP, 2017)

November 27, 2017

The Economization of Life

Michelle Murphy
Hosted by Laura Stark

In The Economization of Life (Duke University Press, 2017), Michelle Murphy pulls apart the late modern concept of "population" to show the lives this…

Grace Davie, "Poverty Knowledge in South Africa: A Social History of Human Science, 1855-2005" (Cambridge UP, 2015)

April 19, 2017

Poverty Knowledge in South Africa

Grace Davie
Hosted by Laura Stark

Apartheid in South Africa formally ended in 1994, but the issue of poverty and what to do about it remained as contentious as it had been a century ea…

Amit Prasad, "Imperial Technoscience: Transnational Histories of MRI in the United States, Britain, and India" (MIT Press, 2014)

April 18, 2017

Imperial Technoscience

Amit Prasad
Hosted by Laura Stark

Amit Prasad is widely admired for using Postcolonial Studies to explore questions about science, technology and medicine. In Imperial Technoscience: T…

Ruth Rogaski, "Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-Port China" (U California Press, 2014)

December 7, 2016

Hygienic Modernity

Ruth Rogaski
Hosted by Laura Stark

Since it was published in 2004, Ruth Rogaski's Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-Port China (University of California Press…

David Grazian, "American Zoo: A Sociological Safari" (Princeton UP, 2015)

April 20, 2016

American Zoo

David Grazian
Hosted by Laura Stark

Urban zoos are both popular and imperiled. They are sites of contestation, but what are those contests about? In his new book, American Zoo: A Sociolo…

Nick Hopwood, "Haeckel's Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud" (U Chicago Press, 2015)

November 30, 2015

Haeckel's Embryos

Nick Hopwood
Hosted by Laura Stark

Nick Hopwood's Haeckel's Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud (University of Chicago Press, 2015) blends textual and visual analysis to answer the q…

Dan Bouk, "How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual" (U Chicago Press, 2015)

November 23, 2015

How Our Days Became Numbered

Dan Bouk
Hosted by Laura Stark

Who made life risky? In his dynamic new book, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (University of Chicago Pre…

Emilie Cloatre, "Pills for the Poorest: An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

February 9, 2015

Pills for the Poorest

Emilie Cloatre
Hosted by Laura Stark

Emilie Cloatre's award-winning book, Pills for the Poorest:An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave, 2013), lo…