Marissa Mika

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Doctoral Candidate, Entered 2008
Visiting Researcher, University of California Berkeley CSTMS
M.H.S. in International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
B.A. in Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Contact Information
Email Address: 
mmika@sas.upenn.edu
Teaching Fields: 

African History, with an emphasis on Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies; Everyday Life in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa; Health and Healing

Technology in the Global South; Global Health Histories; Hospitals and Sites of Biomedical Knowledge Production; Cancer; History and Politics of Biomedical Research

Research Interests: 
I focus on issues where science, technology, and medicine intersect in modern Africa. My research examines the history and practices of biomedical knowledge production and experiment, and highlights the work of African professionals as knowledge producers. I am particularly interested in the creative and political work of African health workers as they navigate the long-term repercussions of the uneven transfer of biomedical technologies. I am also a historical-ethnographer, and focus on hospitals not only as sites of care, but as spaces of research and as microcosms of the postcolonial state. Lastly, I am fascinated by the techno-politics of cancer and the emergence of "global oncology" as a an object of study and intervention in sub-Saharan Africa. These interests come together in my first project, "Malignant States: Creativity, Crisis, and Cancer In Uganda," a historical ethnography of the Uganda Cancer Institute. I am also developing a new project, "Where There is No Incinerator," which examines  the problem of medical waste and the political economy of occupational safety in African hospitals. The idea for this project was sparked by working on the wards of a major national referral hospital in east Africa and the recent Ebola outbreak. When I am not reading, writing, researching, or stuck on a minibus to the Equator, I can be found buying produce at farmer's markets,  hiking in the redwoods, and spending time with family and friends who are scattered across three continents.
Curriculum Vitæ: