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Dr. Mary Ingram-Waters joined the faculty of Barrett, the Honors College, in January, 2009, after the birth of her second daughter. Mary completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2008. Her thesis, “Fictions of New Biological Sciences: Exploring Cultural Sites of Knowledge Production,” examines three different fictional arenas to uncover hidden histories and alternative experts of new biological and genetic technologies: 1970s lesbian science fiction, the 2002 Raelians’ cloning hoax, and an online amateur fiction community dedicated to the phenomenon of male pregnancy. While a doctoral student at UCSB, Mary held a two year research fellowship at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society and a one year research fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies of Science, Technology, and Society, in Graz, Austria. She was awarded the inaugural dissertation fellowship by the Capps Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. Publications from her dissertation research have appeared in Public Understanding of Science and the Yearbook of the STS-IAS. Mary sums up her research interests thusly: How do people use their imaginations to understand science and technology?
Mary’s next project, while ostensibly about knowledge production strategies, departs from her previous focus on science and technology. Mary is at the beginning stages of an ethnographic study of the US/Mexican border. Mary hopes that a small team of Barrett students will accompany her to study the Minuteman Project , a large amorphous group of mostly white, mostly middle class, US citizens, who voluntarily patrol the US/Mexican border for the purpose of keeping illegal immigrants from crossing over. Among many researchable questions, Mary asks this one: How do people embody nationalism through their actions with the Minuteman Project?
In the Spring, Mary teaches HON 272: The Human Event, Social Science Emphasis.