Here's my biotech reading list. I'd love your help fleshing it out.
I've spent the last few weeks creating a syllabus for myself on the world -- people, techniques, theory, history -- of biotechnology. I've talked with some scholars, accepted some Amazon recommendations, and done some rummaging around in bibliographies, but I'm only getting started. I thought I'd list my recent acquisitions here in hopes that you'll help me flesh my little self-taught course out. You know how to get a hold of me: comments here, @alexismadrigal, or amadrigal[at]theatlantic.com.
(Oh, and I'm also looking for journals and blogs that I should be keeping an eye on.)
Right now, I'm pretty heavy on the theoretical and anthropological investigations of biotechnology. I'd like more basic texts on the techniques and some more scientist/technologist accounts of their own work and how it's shaped their thinking. If you can't tell from the readings, what I'm most interested in is the nature of life from the perspective of the people who manipulate it.
Here's the list, sorted alphabetically by author last name:
Life as Surplus: Biotechnology and Capitalism in the Neoliberal Era by Melinda Cooper
Dolly Mixtures: The Remaking of Genealogy by Sarah Franklin
Invisible Frontiers: The Race to Synthesize a Human Gene by Stephen Hall
How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics by N. Katherine Hayles
Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas by Stefan Helmreich
Genentech: The Beginnings of Biotech by Sally Smith Hughes
Refiguring Life by Evelyn Fox Keller
Secrets of Life, Secrets of Death: Essays on Language, Gender, and Science by Evelyn Fox Keller
Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies by Hannah Landecker
The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death by Jill Lepore
What Is Life? by Lynn Margolis and Dorion Sagan
Making PCR: A Story of Biotechnology by Paul Rabinow
Biocapital: The Constitution of Post-Genomic Life by Kaushik Sunder Rajan
The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation by Steven Shapin
Liminal Lives: Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of Bioscience by Susan Merrill Squier
Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies by Charis Thompson
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