African Studies Workshop featuring Robert Lorway


Monday, April 8, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Center for African Studies Lounge - 1280 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd Floor, Cambridge, MA

Robert Lorway is Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology in the Centre for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Intervention Politics and Social Transformation. His research analyzes how forms of intervention life unfurl around transnationally-mediated attempts to alleviate the suffering of stigmatized people. He has written two books on the subject, Namibia’s Rainbow Project: Gay Rights in an African Nation, and AIDS Activism, Science and Community across Three Continents. In his current book project, entitled Reassembling Surveillance Science: Sex Worker Activism and Global Health in Kenya, he examines the expansion of scientific and technical knowledge as it diffuses through locally-assembled forms of transnational protestation, drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork and participatory studies conducted with sex workers between 2009 and 2018. Focusing on the vital role played by activist networks in the rerouting and repurposing of scientific knowledge, Lorway sheds light on how these reworkings enable sex workers, as laypeople, to pinpoint and defy the undemocratic imperatives of an experimental order that aims to govern the health of “key populations.” 

He will be presenting Experimental Entanglements: Surveillance Science, Sex Worker Dissidence, and Evidentiary Politics in Kenya.

Discussant: Sophia Roosth


A week in advance, the presenter’s paper will be circulated through the Harvard African Studies Workshop listserv. It is assumed that everyone has read the paper before the workshop.  After presentation and commentary, Workshop attendees are invited to engage in critique and discussion, under the moderation of the Workshop Chairs.

ORGANIZER(S):  Harvard University Center for African Studies