Alex Rewegan
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Alex Rewegan

Alex works at the intersection of critical science studies, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of biology. He is developing an ethnographic dissertation project that attends to the global proliferation of cannabis-related technoscience and biomedicine, with an empirical focus on Canada and the US. Remaining mostly absent from the gaze of twentieth-century technoscience, cannabis is now undergoing a surge of scientific, political, and economic interest, incited by increasing legalization and the dual promises of its therapeutic and economic potential. Alex seeks to trace the emerging social life of cannabis as it moves across and between technoscientific cultures and contexts, like neuroscientific laboratories, medical clinics, and biotechnology firms. Central to his research is an interest in exploring the co-productions of matter, meaning, and value, working to analyze how imbricated conceptions of health, illness, plants, and bodies materialize through contemporary technoscientific praxis. Of particular focus are the ways in which contemporary political-economic relations mediate emerging ways of knowing cannabis and its relation to human biology, its developing industries, and its continued transformation from a plant steeped in a history of politically problematic prohibitions into a legitimized and booming medical product. His doctoral research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Alex holds a BA in anthropology from McMaster University and an MA in social anthropology from York University, Toronto. His MA thesis was an ethnographic exploration of shifting styles of thought in a memory neuroscience laboratory, highlighting how a gendered prioritization of ‘the neuron’ has hindered brain researchers’ ways of knowing neurological matter otherwise. Alongside his academic studies, Alex has worked as a health science researcher for McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, and the Program for Educational Research and Development. Past and ongoing projects include the relation between affect and expertise in the context of medical education, the phenomenology of illness, end-of-life medical practice, and the history of infectious disease in Canada.

Most recently, Alex has worked with colleagues on the interdisciplinary team Re-Imagining Long-Term Residential Care at York University, taking a critical approach to documenting and analyzing the current state of end-of-life care in nursing homes across six countries. See their publication here:

Intensifying Relational Care: The Challenge of Dying in Long-Term Residential Care

Follow Alex on Twitter for all-things cannabis and technoscience: @cannabisSTS

Key words

anthropology of biology and medicine; feminist science studies; cannabis; drugs and society; plant-human relations; matter and materiality; naturecultures; capitalisms and value; affective ecologies; sciences of the mind and brain; race, gender, and science

E-mail

arewegan@mit.edu

 

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