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Lochlann S. Jain

Lochlann Jain's profile photo

Lochlann S. Jain

Ph.D History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz, 1999
Research Interest: 
Jain’s research interests include extra-legal forms of communications, such as warning signs and medical apologies; queer studies; art and design.
On leave for Winter and Spring 2016-2017 academic year


Professor Jain's research is primarily concerned with the ways in which stories get told about injuries, from car crashes to lung cancer, from mountain climbing deaths to space shuttle explosions. Figuring out the political and social significance of these stories has led her to the study of medicine, law, product design, medical error, and histories of engineering, regulation, corporations, and advertising.

Jain’s book, Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us (University of California Press, 2013), aims to better understand American life and culture through cancer. Nearly half of all Americans will be diagnosed in their lifetimes with an invasive cancer -- an all-too common component of American life. Through a combination of history, memoir, and cultural analysis, Malignant explores why cancer remains so confounding, despite the billions of dollars spent in the search for a cure.

Her widely reviewed book, Injury, (Princeton University Press, 2006) analyzes how some products come to be understood as dangerous, while others are perceived as inert (guns don’t kill people) -- and how these legal and social understandings can help better understand social and economic disparities as well as reflect on a history in which notions of responsibility and negligence have radically changed.

Selected Articles

2013 Malignant: How Cancer Becomes Us, University of California Press.

2006 Injury: Design and Litigation in the United States, Princeton University Press.

Scholarly Articles
2011 “Medical Time,” Introduction of Medical Anthropology Quarterly, co-authored with Sharon
Kaufman. Invited volume co-edited with Sharon Kaufman (UCSF).

2011 “Loss of Hope in Cancer Litigation,” Loyola Law Review.

2011 “Survival Odds: Mortality in Corporate Time,” in Special issue of Current Anthropology,
“Corporate Lives” ed. Hardin. R, D. Partridge and M. Welker.

2010 “The Mortality Effect: Counting the Dead,” Public Culture, forthcoming, vol. 21.

2010 “Be Prepared,” in Jonathan Metzl and Anna Kirkland (eds.), Against Health, NYU Press.

2010 “Countering Time: The Medical Apology,”, in Austin Sarat, Andrew Parker, and Martha Umphrey (eds.) The Subject of Responsibility.

2007 "Cancer Butch." Cultural Anthropology, vol. 22(4): 501-538.

2007 "Living in Prognosis: Toward an Elegaic Politics." Representations, Spring 2007: 77-92.

2005 "Violent Submission." Cultural Critique, vol. 61: 186-214.

2005 "Urban Violence: Luxury in Made Space." Mobile Technologies of the Future, Mimi Sheller and John Urry (ed.), Taylor and Francis.

2005 Entry for "Technology and Gender, Race and Class." The Oxford Dictionary of Science, Technology and Society, Oxford University Press.

2004 "'Dangerous Instrumentality': The Bystander as Subject in Automobility." Cultural Anthropology, vol. 19(1): 61-94.

2003 "'Come up to the Kool Taste’: African American Upward Mobility and the Semiotics of Smoking Menthols.” Public Culture, vol. 15(3). (Reprinted in Angela Davis and Neferti Tadiar (eds.), Beyond the Frame, Pergamon Press, 2006.)

2002 “Urban Errands: The Means of Mobility.” Journal of Consumer Culture, vol. 2(3): 385-404.

1998 “Mysterious Delicacies and Ambiguous Agents: Lennart Nilsson in National Geographic.” Configurations, vol. 6(3): 373-394.

1998 “Inscription Fantasies and Interface Erotics: Keyboards, Law, Repetitive Strain Injuries.” Hastings Journal of Women and Law, vol. 9(2): 219-253.

1998 “The Prosthetic Imagination: Enabling and Disabling the Prosthesis Trope.” Science, Technology, and Human Values, vol. 24(1): 31-54.