I am an assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico (PhD from New York University, 2010). My research interests lie in medical sociology and the sociology of knowledge.
Primarily, my research focuses on medical professionals, specifically the history of professionalization in the United States, the nature of professional politics, and the influence of abstract knowledge on clinical practice and patient identity. My book, Knowledge in the Time of Cholera (University of Chicago Press, 2013) explores how the modern American medical profession emerged out of an intellectual crisis produced by recurrent cholera epidemics in the 19th century and the struggles over medical knowledge between medical sects that followed in their wake. The book offers a fresh understanding of the origins of the exceptional – and politically powerful – U.S. medical profession, one that underscores the ways in which the tension between professional authority and democratic cultural values shaped the profession.
My current research focuses on the professional politics involved in the definition of mental disorders, with an emphasis on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). I am also working on a book on the history of American psychiatry.