Priscilla Song, PhD

Priscilla Song is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Emergency Medicine in the College of Medicine at the Pennsylvania State University. She is a medical anthropologist working at the nexus of global health, science and technology studies, and Asian studies. She received her PhD and AM in Anthropology from Harvard University and her BA in Anthropology and Philosophy from Yale University.

Dr. Song’s ethnographic research focuses on the social and ethical aspects of biomedical technologies, including the challenges of regulating experimental medical treatment in a globalized era, the ways in which digital communication technologies are transforming patient activism, and the unintended consequences of Chinese healthcare reforms. Her first book, Biomedical Odysseys: Fetal Cell Experiments from Cyberspace to China (Princeton University Press 2017), received the Francis Hsu Book Prize from the Society for East Asian Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association.

Dr. Song’s current research projects include technologies of end-of-life care, cultures of masking and surveillance in Asia, workplace violence among Chinese healthcare workers, community-based eldercare and experiences of aging in the context of China’s demographic transition, and the history and development of emergency medicine in China.

Dr. Song has over two decades of experience conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Asia, as well as mixed-methods research with a diverse range of collaborators including social workers, public health scholars, psychologists, neuroscientists, gerontologists, nurses, emergency medicine physicians, neurosurgeons, Chinese medicine practitioners, patients, and their family members. Prior to joining Penn State, she taught anthropology, Asian studies, history, and medical humanities at the University of Hong Kong, Washington University in St. Louis, the New School for Social Research, and Yale University.