Yesmar Oyarzun

I am a third year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Rice University. For my dissertation project, I am studying how dermatologists deal with differences in skin color in their learning and practices. My research follows dermatology residents as they learn how to do their work in a diverse US city. I take special interest in understanding how categories to describe and classify skin based on color are made and applied in dermatology, specifically in the broader context of an already racialized society like the US.

More generally, I am interested in social difference and the historical and contemporary relationships between race, science, and biomedicine. Besides anthropology, my work generally fits into the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and medical humanities. I engage heavily with critical race, Black feminist, postcolonial, and feminist theories and scholarship.

At Rice, I participate in certificate programs at the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory (3CT) and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I will also be a co-coordinator for the Ethnography Studio for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Before coming to Rice, I earned a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University (‘18) with a focus on global health. In 2015, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Research Areas

Biomedicine, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Race, Human Difference, United States


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