Seminar Directors

Naveeda Khan is associate professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University with research interests ranging from Islam and everyday life in urban Pakistan to climate change and precarious lives in riparian Bangladesh. Throughout she has maintained an interest in the structures underlying thought, studying how the technical, the rational and the material capture the imagination and are suffused with aesthetic, theological and utopian sensibilities. Her growing interest in big data, machine learning and AI emerge from these prior commitments.

Veena Das is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University. Her research covers a range of fields. She is passionately interested in the question of how ethnography generates concepts; how we might treat philosophical and literary traditions from India and other regions as generative of theoretical and practical understanding of the world; how to render the texture and contours of everyday life; and the way everyday and the event are joined together in the making of the normal and the critical.

Jeremy Greene is the William H. Welch Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a practicing internist at the East Baltimore Medical Center.  His research interests focus on the interplay of science, medicine, and technology in shaping and reshaping the experience of health and disease.  His current book project, The Electronic Patient: Medicine and the Challenge of New Media, explores how a series of new engagements with electronic information technologies has transformed the nature of medical encounters over the past century.    

Postdoctoral Scholar

Canay Özden-Schilling is an anthropologist of capitalism, technology, and infrastructure. Her data interests are rooted in her first book project, Economy Electric—an ethnographic study of electricity markets in the United States, which surveys the data-laden and algorithmic devices that mediate expert communities’ relationship with electricity. Over the course of the Sawyer Seminar, she hopes to explore how data devices travel across multiple domains of public life and with what consequences.

Research assistant and administrator

Sam Gomes


Kayoung Kim, Sumin Myung