Hannah Landecker


Professor


Contact Information

Email    landecker@soc.ucla.edu
Office  268 Haines Hall
Phone  310-825-1517
My work takes place at the intersection of the life and social sciences.

The social and historical study of biotechnology and life science, from 1900 to now, is my area of specialization.  I hold a joint appointment between the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Society and Genetics, an interdisciplinary teaching and research unit in Life Science which houses the Human Biology and Society major; and I am part of the UCLA EpiCenter, a research node for issues of Epigenetics, Reproduction and Society.   I serve as a senior editor of BioSocieties, a journal dedicated to the social, ethical and policy implications of developments in the life sciences.  I am on sabbatical for the 2021-2022 academic year at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. 

To read more about the research, please browse my publications below.  I have been interviewed recently by Mold Magazine, Technosphere Magazine, and Theory, Culture and Society, and my slightly less academic sojourns can be found in Noema, isolarii, and several recent art catalogs such as Pakui Hardware: Shape Shifters, and Vanessa Billy: We Become/Redevenir.  All of my publications are available on Research Gate.  

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Degrees

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000

B.Sc. (Honours) University of British Columbia, 1993

Awards

Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Fellowhip, 2021-2022

USC Dorsife Berggruen Fellowship, 2017-2018.

American Council for Learned Societies Fellowship, 2012.

Suzanne J. Levinson Book Prize, History of Science Society, 2008 (for Culturing Life). 

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2005. 

Rice University Graduate Student Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2005.

Grants

Primary Investigator, “Ethical and Social Implications of In Vitro Gametogenesis,” National Institutes of Health, 2021-2023.

Co-Primary Investigator, “Reconstructing the social and environmental forces driving the evolution of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Lebanon: an exploratory interdisciplinary study integrating molecular epidemiology and socio-historical data,” New Frontiers in Research Fund Government of Canada (LP Haraoui, PI), 2020-2022.

Co-Primary Investigator, “A Chance for Equality in Health?  Transgenerational Epigenetics and Ancestral Environmental Exposures,” John Templeton Foundation (P. Allard, PI) 2017-2020.

Co-organizer, Brocher Foundation Conference Grant: “War: The Beginning and Ending of Antibiotics?”  Hermance, Switzerland, November 2018

"From Messenger to Signal:  Metabolic Hormones and the Rise of the Signal Concept in Life Sciences Research," National Science Foundation, 2012-2014.

"21st Century Cuisine, Nutrition and Genetics in France and the United States," Partner University Fund, 2009-2012.

Selected Publications

Book: 

Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies, Harvard University Press, 2007 

Articles and Book Chapters:

Neubauer, C. and H.Landecker, “Ten Percent of Human Cellular Methionine is Synthetic in Origin: Implications of Opening the Tap on a Historically Limiting Nutrient,” Lancet Planetary Health 5(8):E560-E569, 2021.

Campbell-Staton, S.C., R.H. Walker, S.A. Rogers, J. De Léon, H. Landecker, W. Porter, P.D. Matthewson, R.A. Long, “Physiological Costs of Undocumented Human Migration Across the Southern United States Border,” Science 374(6574): 1496-1500, 2021.

Landecker, H., "Trace Amounts at Industrial Scale: Arsenicals and Medicated Feed in the Making of the 'Western Diet'," 187-213 in A. Creager & JP. Gaudillière (eds.), Risk on the Table: Food Production, Health and the Environment, Berghahn Books, 2021.

LeGoff, A., P. Allard, and H. Landecker, "Heritable Changeability: Epimutation and the legacy of negative definition in epigenetic concepts," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A 86:35-46, 2021.  [open access publication available here]

Bazzi W., A. A. Fayad, A. Nasser, L.P. Haraoui, V.K. Nguyen, O. El-Diwachi, G. S. Abu SItta, H. Landecker, A. Abbara, C.W. Knapp, M. McEvoy, M.H. Zaman, P.G. Higgins, G.M. Matar, "Resistance to heavy metals in Acinetobacter baumannii: may be increased in conflict settings," Frontiers in Microbiology. 2020;11:68.

Lappé, M., R. Jeffries Hein, and H. Landecker. "Environmental Politics of Reproduction." Annual Review of Anthropology 48:133-150 (2019) [Annual Reviews].

Khan, A., O. Plana-Ripoll, S. Antonsen, J. Brandt, C. Geels, H. Landecker, P.F. Sullivan, C.B. Pedersen, and A. Rzhetsky. "Environmental pollution is associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders in the US and Denmark." PLoS biology 17, no. 8 (2019): e3000353.
Landecker, H. "A metabolic history of manufacturing waste: food commodities and their outsides." Food, Culture & Society 22, no. 5 (2019): 530-547. [open access publication available here]

Landecker, H.  "Antimicrobials Before Antibiosis: War, Peace and Disinfectants," Palgrave Communications 5:45 (2019). [open access publication available here]

Landecker, H. "On The Odor of Rancid Butter, A Twentieth Century Update," History of Anthropology Newsletter 43 (2019): http://histanthro.org/notes/odor-of-rancid-butter/.

Kelty, C., and H. Landecker, “Outside In: Microbiomes, Epigenomes, Visceral Sensing, and Metabolic Ethics,”  53-65 in After Practice: Thinking through Matter(s) and Meaning Relationally, edited by The Laboratory for the Anthropology of the Environment and Human Relations, Berlin: Panama Verlag, 2019.

Landecker, H.  “The Matter of Practice in the Historiography of the Experimental Life Sciences,” 1-22 in M. Dietrich and M. Borrello, eds. Handbook of the Historiography of Biology, Springer, 2018.

Landecker, H. "Metabolism, Autonomy, Individuality," 225-248 in What is an Individual? Where Philosophy, History and Biology Coincide, L. Nyhart & S. Lidgard eds.,Chicago University Press, 2017.

Landecker, H. "The Social as Signal in the Body of Chromatin," The Sociological Review Monographs 64(1):79-99, 2016.

Landecker, H. "It is what it eats: Chemically defined media and the history of surrounds." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2016.

Lappé, M. and H. Landecker. "Sociology in an Age of Genomic Instability: Copy Number Variation, Somatic Mosaicism, and the Fallen Genome," Advances in Medical Sociology Volume 16: Genetics, Health and Society, pp.157-186, 2015. (Selected as Outstanding Author Contribution in the 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence).

Landecker, H. "Commentary: The Information of Conformation," International Journal of Epidemiology, Advance Online Publication April 7, 2015.  doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv022.

Lappé, M., and H. Landecker.  "How the Genome got a Life Span," New Genetics and Society 34(2):152-176, 2015.

Landecker, H. "Antibiotic Resistance and the Biology of History," Body and Society 22(4):19-52, 2016 [open access publication available here]

Panofsky, A., and H. Landecker.  "From Social Structure to Gene Regulation, And Back: A Critical Introduction to Environmental Epigenetics for Sociology," Annual Review of Sociology 39:333-357, 2013.

Landecker, H. "Metabolism, Reproduction, and the Aftermath of Categories," Feminist & Scholar Online 11(3): Summer 2013.  

Landecker, H. "When the Control Becomes the Experiment," Limn 3: Sentinel Devices, 2013.  here.

Landecker, H. "Post-Industrial Metabolism: Fat Knowledge," Public Culture 25(3):495-522, 2013.

Landecker, H. "The Metabolism of Philosophy, in Three Parts," 193-224 in Dialectic and Paradox: Configurations of the Third in Modernity, B. Malkmus and I. Cooper, eds., Bern: Peter Lang, 2013.

Landecker, H. "The Life of Movement: From Microcinematography to Live Cell Imaging," Journal of Visual Culture 11(3):378-399, 2012.

Landecker, H. "Food as Exposure: Nutritional Epigenetics and the New Metabolism," BioSocieties 6:167-194, 2011. [open access publication here]

Landecker, H. "Creeping, Dying, Drinking: The Cinematic Portal and the Microscopic World of the Twentieth Century Cell," Science in Context24(3):381-416, 2011.

Landecker, H. "Seeing Things: From Microcinematography to Live Cell Imaging," Nature Methods 6:707-709, 2009. 

Landecker, H., and A.N.H. Creager, "Technical Matters: method, knowledge and infrastructure in twentieth century life science," Nature Methods 6:701-705, 2009. here.

Landecker, H. “Living Differently in Time: Plasticity, Temporality and Cellular Biotechnologies,” in Technologized Images, Technologized Bodies: Anthropological Approaches to a New Politics of Vision, Jeanette Edwards, Penny Harvey and Peter Wade, eds. New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. [online version]

Landecker, H. “Microcinematography and the History of Science and Film,” Isis, 97:121-132, 2006. 

Landecker, H. “Cellular Features: Microcinematography and Early Film Theory,” Critical Inquiry 31:903-937, 2005. 

Kelty, C., and H. Landecker.  “A Theory of Animation: Cells, L-Systems, and Film,” Grey Room, 17:30-63, 2004. 

Landecker, H. “The Lewis Films: Tissue Culture and ‘Living Anatomy’, 1919-1940,” 117-144 in Centennial History of the Carnegie Institute Department of Embryology, J. Maienschein, M. Glitz and G. Allan (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2004. 

Landecker, H. “Building ‘A New Type of Body in Which to Grow a Cell’: The Origins of Tissue Culture,” 151-174 in Creating a Tradition of Biomedical Research: Contributions to the History of The Rockefeller University, D. Stapleton (ed.), New York: Rockefeller University Press, 2004. 

Landecker, H. “On Beginning and Ending with Apoptosis: Cell Death and Biomedicine,” in Remaking Life and Death: Towards an Anthropology of the Life Sciences, edited by S. Franklin and M. Lock, School of American Research Press, 2003. 

Landecker, H. “New Times for Biology: Nerve Cultures and the Advent of Cellular Life in Vitro,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 33:667-694, 2002. 

Landecker, H. “Immortality, In Vitro: A History of the HeLa Cell Line,” in Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics, edited by Paul Brodwin, Theories of Contemporary Culture series, Indiana University Press, 2000. Reprinted in A Reader in Medical Anthropology: Theoretical Trajectories, Emergent Realities, B. Good, M. Fischer, S. Willen, M-J. Delvecchio-Good (eds.), pp. 353-366, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Landecker, H. “Between Beneficence and Chattel: The Human Biological in Law and Science,” Science in Context 12(1): 203-225, 1999. Reprinted in Law and Science, Volume II: Epistemological, Evidentiary, and Relational Engagements, International Library of Essays in Law and Society, S. Silbey, ed., Ashgate Publishing, 2008, pp. 181-204.

Research

My research contributions sort into three interrelated areas of emphasis: 1) the ethnographic analysis of epigenetics in social context 2) the history and sociology of metabolism; 3) research on antibiotic resistance.  I am currently writing a book called "American Metabolism," which looks at transformations to the metabolic sciences wrought by the rise of epigenetics, microbiomics, cell signaling and hormone biology. 

Previous Courses by Term

2017 Winter Quarter

Stress and Society: Biology and Inequality

2016 Winter Quarter

Theory and Research in Sociology

2015 Fall Quarter

Theory and Research in Sociology

2015 Winter Quarter

Theory and Research in Sociology

2014 Fall Quarter

Theory and Research in Sociology

2013 Fall Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Variable Topics Research Seminars: Sociology

Special Topics in Sociology

2012 Fall Quarter

Politics of Reproduction

Advanced Honors Seminars

2012 Winter Quarter

Special Topics in Sociology

2011 Fall Quarter

Politics of Reproduction

2008 Fall Quarter

Special Topics in Sociology

Previous Courses by Course

SOCIOL M144
Stress and Society: Biology and Inequality

2017 Winter Quarter

SOCIOL 202B
Theory and Research in Sociology

2016 Winter Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

SOCIOL 202A
Theory and Research in Sociology

2015 Fall Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

SOCIOL 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2013 Fall Quarter

SOCIOL 191V
Variable Topics Research Seminars: Sociology

2013 Fall Quarter

SOCIOL 285C
Special Topics in Sociology

2013 Fall Quarter

2012 Winter Quarter

GENDER M164
Politics of Reproduction

2012 Fall Quarter

SOCIOL M164
Politics of Reproduction

2012 Fall Quarter

2011 Fall Quarter

SOCIOL 189
Advanced Honors Seminars

2012 Fall Quarter

WOM STD M164
Politics of Reproduction

2011 Fall Quarter

SOCIOL 180E
Special Topics in Sociology

2008 Fall Quarter