Laura Stark is Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University, Associate Editor of the journal History & Theory, and Advisory Editor for Isis. Stark’s first book, Behind Closed Doors: IRBs and the Making of Ethical Research (The University of Chicago Press, 2012), looked at the history of decision-making practices at the intersection of science, ethics, and the state. Her second book, The Normals: A People’s History (The University of Chicago Press, under contract), explores how a market for healthy civilian “human subjects” emerged in law, science, and everyday imagination. That project traces the simultaneous production of a moral sensibility and a legal system to enact this market for healthy civilians in the post-World War Two period. It is based on a vernacular archive—now housed at Countway Library for the History of Medicine—that Stark created with more than 100 “normal control” research subjects and the scientists who used them in experiments at the US National Institutes of Health. While at the MPIWG, Stark will pursue her third book project, Islam through American Eyes: The Life and Culture of Clifford Geertz, which consolidates global sites of science to examine the history of one of the most iconic conceptions of “culture” in the human sciences today: the notion of culture as a “web of meaning.” Overall, Stark’s work uses social theory to map the intersections of science, morality, and the modern state in a global frame.
No current projects were found for this scholar.