PhD, Joint Medical Anthropology Program, University of California – Berkeley & San Francisco
MPH, Community Health Education, Division of Health and Social Behavior, School of Public Health, University of California – Berkeley
BA, American Studies, University of California – Santa Cruz
Chris Roebuck is a medical anthropologist, engaged in critical studies of science, medicine, and the body. His work contends with problematizations of "the human" and its intertwined molecular and molar milieu.
He is concerned with questions of power, knowledge, personhood, and the governing of life. He has taught courses in the history and theory of anthropology; anthropology of medicine, science, and bioethics; urban ethnography; and in feminist, queer, and trans* studies -- which explore the interconnetions of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the making and mattering of (a) life.
His book project is entitled, Workin’ It: Trans* Lives in the Age of Epidemic. A hybrid urban ethnography and critical medical anthropology project, it explores precarious entanglements, linking micro- and macro- ecologies during the ongoing HIV crisis in a San Francisco neighborhood (re)known as a red light district; as a hot spot of the city’s HIV epidemic; and as home and sanctuary. It seeks to give an account of world-making practices of people of trans* experience – trans/gender communities, (im)migrants, and refugees – and their loved ones, friends, and healthcare providers as they forge new forms of kin and care, institutions and political movements, publics and worlds to “make live” and flourish amid an unrelenting biosocial crisis.
He co-edited a special edition of the journal, Body and Society, entitled “Medical Migrations: Global Quests for Health and Life." In collaboration with the Transgender Law Center, he authored How to Start a Transgender Health Clinic, a guide for patients, providers, and advocates; and "... To Thrive and Not Just Survive:" Focus Group Findings and Lessons from Trans Women of Color Living with HIV in the Southern United States."
Currently, he is venturing on a new project, “Chimeras are we?” It examines the social, biomedical, and ethical implications of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) – a pioneering NIH sponsored multidisciplinary study whose goals included (1) identifying the genetic and metabolic characteristics of the trillion or so microorganisms whose ecology is the human body, and (2) describing how these symbionts shape health, illness, and transspecies ontologies. “Chimeras are we?” asks (a) how are findings from HMP (re)connecting fields of microbiology and ecology, biomedicine and population health; and (b) what sorts of planetary & multispecies ethics follow upon conceptualizations of “the human” as a vulnerable microcosmos?
Dedicated to fostering community-academic partnerships, Chris has collaborated with the Transgender Law Center's "Positively Trans" program, the People Living with HIV Stigma Index, and Seroproject's "HIV Is Not a Crime Training Academy." As a member of UPenn & Philly Fight's "BEAT HIV" Community Advisory Board, part of a multi-sited NIH sponsored clinical trial that aims to advance basic science toward a cure, he works to ensure the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in biomedical research: https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2016/july/penn-medicine-...