Priscilla Song, Ph.D.

Washington University in St. Louis

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Faculty Member, East Asian Studies Program
Faculty Scholar, Institute for Public Health

ORCID: 0000-0002-0450-0315

Contact Information

McMillan Hall 336
Campus Box 1114
Department of Anthropology
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Phone: (314) 935-5252 (anthropology department main office)
Fax: (314) 935-8535



Ph.D. Anthropology, Harvard University
M.A. Anthropology, Harvard University
B.A. Anthropology & Philosophy, Yale University

Research Interests

Culture and ethics of biomedical technologies
Experimental medicine and global health
Internet-mediated social movements and ethnography of online communities
Illness, healing, and health care in contemporary China
Social change, popular culture, and everyday life in urban China

Teaching Interests

Key fields: sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, science and technology studies, and East Asian studies

Theoretical topics: cross-cultural perspectives on illness, healing, and healthcare; critical studies of biotechnology and technoscience; social and digital media; processes of social change (including urbanization, modernization, and globalization)

Methodological topics: research design, qualitative research methods, ethnographic writing, use of digital media in anthropological research and teaching

Short Bio

I am a sociocultural anthropologist working at the nexus of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, and East Asian studies. My research focuses on the social and ethical aspects of transnational biomedical technologies in urban China, where a changing political, economic and moral landscape is transforming health outcomes and reorganizing social relations on local and global scales. My book Biomedical Odysseys: Fetal Cell Experiments from Cyberspace to China will be published by Princeton University Press in spring 2017.

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. I am also a faculty member of the East Asian Studies Program and a faculty scholar at the Institute for Public Health. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on sociocultural anthropology, medical anthropology, science and technology studies, global health, and East Asian studies.

I am currently serving as an elected councilor (2015-2018) for the Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). I am a contributing editor for SEAA’s column in Anthropology News and a member of the SEAA program committee for the upcoming 2017 AAA Annual Meeting in D.C.

I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University and my B.A. in Anthropology and Philosophy from Yale University. Before joining the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis, I was a lecturer at Yale University and the New School for Social Research. I was a visiting research associate in the Institute of Ethnology at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan from 2000-2001, a visiting scholar in the Institute of Sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing from 2004-2006, and a visiting scholar in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing from 2014-2015.