Profile picture of Arafaat A. Valiani

Arafaat A. Valiani

Associate Professor
Graduate Faculty in the Department of Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies and Global Health
History, IRES
Phone: 541-346-5763
Office: 301 McKenzie Hall
Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00pm-3:00pm, Wednesdays 10:30am-noon PDT, and by appt.


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)

Honors and Awards

2023 Killam Laureate and Visiting Scholar (Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary)

National Science Foundation

Ford Foundation 

National Endowment for the Humanities

Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress 

Wenner-Gren Foundation

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)