Dr. Mallory James


Science and Technology Policy

Mallory James investigates the relationship between what counts as responsible or ethical practice for expert knowledge-workers and the institutional and financial structures of their workplaces. She is interested in disciplinary experiences within interdisciplinary spaces; the changing structure of business and credentialing regimes that enmesh representations of ‘responsibility’ into expert work; and experiences of blurriness between clients’ needs and generalized goods. Mallory’s dissertation, “Burning the Future: Australian Carbon and Energy Engineering” (University of Chicago, 2020) examines the targets of care and responsibility that carbon engineering professionals circulate, negotiate, and advance in their professional activities; and that engineering industries, schools, and professional associations have institutionally cultivated and stabilized over time.  At TUM, Mallory is currently investigating the practices by which grant application peer-reviewers, applicants, and their supporters construct scientific “excellence” and make it evident to audiences beyond themselves. She plans to observe these through ethnographic and archival vantage points onto the administrative and auditing processes associated with EU scientific research grant applications.

Mallory holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and PhD from the University of Chicago, all in Anthropology. Prior to her graduate training, she worked as a technical writer and analyst for U.S. Department of Energy-funded research strategy projects.

  • Social studies of energy, climate change, and their engineering sciences
  • Research governance
  • Critical theory (genealogies of social-scientific knowledge)
  • Political economy of engineering ethics
  • Technology studies (historical, sociocultural, feminist)
  • Energy policy
  • Dowd, A-M., and James, M. “A Social Licence for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage: How Engineers and Managers Describe Community Relations.” Social Epistemology (2014).
  • Co-Instructor, “Who Is Responsible for Environment and Health? Social and Cultural Perspective on Environment, Health, and Technology,” 2020-2021
  • Lecturer, “Power, Identity, and Resistance,” University of Chicago, 2016, 2018-2019
  • Small-Group Writing Instructor for the University of Chicago Writing Program, 2013-2015 and 2016-2017
  • American Anthropological Association
  • Society for the Social Studies of Science
  • FeminiMCTS Repair Team
  • AnthroTechnics Writing Group
  • Distinguished Graduate Lectureship (declined), University of Chicago Department of Anthropology, for the class “Social Studies of Energy,” June 2020
  • Watkins/Lichtstern Post-ABD Fellowship, University of Chicago Department of Anthropology, June 2020
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of Chicago Social Sciences Division, 2019-2020
  • Arts, Science, and Culture Initiative Graduate Fellow, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016
  • Social Sciences Fellowship, University of Chicago Social Sciences Division, 2012-2016