Kathleen A. Powers

PhD Designated Emphasis in STS

PhD Student, Rhetoric, Philosophy of Science
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Designated Emphasis in STS
Degrees M.Phil. Sociology :: University of Cambridge (2013)
B.A. Sociology, Social Theory :: Yale University (2012)

Research Areas

Interests include: bioethics, philosophy of science, natural philosophy.
I am interested in the definition of biology in the Western philosophical tradition - in particular, in 20th century vitalism's attempt to define biological life. I intend to write a dissertation on medical interventions in end of life care and the changing definitions of consciousness that attend medical practice.

I applied to the Rhetoric program with a project on aesthetic theory and the documentation of trauma. I’d conducted fieldwork in Tunis in June-August of 2011, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution, and after writing on the amateur photographic and televisual documentation of hospital trauma and on the relationship of these images to the protest events of the Revolution, I became interested in narrations of affliction. Specifically, I became interested in how the aesthetic or literary documentation of suffering contributes to ways we theorize our existence - how we think about Being, and how we value and understand life. I turned to the philosophy of science, and I intend to attend medical school during the completion of the Rhetoric Ph.D.

last updated: April 16th, 2019