Arafaat A. Valiani
Arafaat Valiani is grateful to the Kalapuya people, many of whom are now citizens of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Tribes of the Siletz Indians on whose lands the University of Oregon is situated.
Dr. Valiani will be the 2023 Killam Visiting Scholar, in the Department of Community Health Sciences, in Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He will be working on the Precision Health Equity Project (described below).
I am a medical ethnographer and an historian of science and medicine. My current intellectual interests focus on questions of decolonization regarding biomedicine, specifically human genomics, difference and equity, and precision medicine, especially among raclialized peoples in the Americas, and South Asians globally. I am the Principal Investigator (and founder) of the Precision Health Equity Projectwhich comprises the following research, training and community-based endeavors: Employing methods from postcolonial science studies, critical histories of science and genetics, and feminist technoscience, I study how discourses about 'populations', gender and race mediate innovations in biomedicine which involve racialized communities in the Americas and globally. Recent investigations I have undertaken explore genomics and precision medicine in Canada and India, issues of health access in the context of infant and maternal health related to human milk provision in the United States and Canada, and the decolonization of obstetrics services for mothers in the global context of Chinese birth tourism in the United States and Canada (among other sites of inquiry). This body of research contributes to trandisciplinary debates about difference and intersectionality, social justice and biomedicine; the sociology of knowledge and medicine; history of science; anthropologies of science and knowledge; and South Asian Studies; and it also strives to productively impact understandings of health equity for racialized communities.
Dr. Valiani's first book, entitled Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity (Palgrave 2011), combined historical and ethnographic research methods to examine the effects of medical, ethno-religious and 'masculine' conceptions of the body on the formation of political community among Indigenous (Adivasi) and caste communities in modern India and its diasporas. This body of research contributes to debates in difference, sociology of the body, political histories of South Asia, and broader discussions about the rise of populism which we are currently witnessing in the Americas, Europe and South Asia.
Before taking up his appointment in the Department of History at the University of Oregon, Arafaat Valiani was Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Williams College.
Ph.D. Columbia University
MA London School of Economics/School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
BFa Concordia University (Montréal, Canada)
Published or Forthcoming:
Valiani, Arafaat A. 2022. Frontiers of Bio-Decolonization: Indigenous Data Sovereignty as a Possible Model for Community-Based Participatory Genomic Health Research for Racialized Peoples in Postgenomic Canada. Genealogy 6 (3). https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy6030068
“Recoding Caste: Population, Genetic Mapping and Risk in Postgenomic India and Its Diasporas”.
"Recuperating Indian Masculinity: Mohandas Gandhi, War and the Indian Diaspora in South Africa (1899-1914)", 2014, South Asia History and Culture, Volume 5, Issue 4. https://doi.org/10.1080/19472498.2014.936208
"Physical Training: Ethical Discipline and Creative Violence: Zones of Self-Mastery in the Hindu Nationalist Movement (Gujarat, India)", Culture Anthropology, Volume 25, Issue 1. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.15481360.2009.01052.x
Honors and Awards
2023 Killam Laureate and Visiting Scholar (Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary)
National Science Foundation
National Endowment for the Humanities
Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress
American Institute of Indian Studies
Oregon Humanities Fellowship
Tom and Carol Williams Grant
Fellowship for Exceptional Research in Environmental StudiesConcordia University (Montreal, Canada) (awarded twice)