Liliana Gil

Anthropologist

I’m finishing my Ph.D. in Anthropology at The New School as a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. My research areas include postcolonial and feminist science studies, critical innovation studies, politics and geographies of improvisation, and social histories of electronics. I’m currently based in Singapore where I’m affiliated with Yale-NUS College.

My dissertation – Beyond Make-Do Innovation: Practices and Politics of Technological Improvisation in Brazil – is an ethnographic and historical examination of how improvisational abilities and techniques have been thought of, performed, and valued across a number of sites of technological production, from community-oriented innovation hubs in São Paulo to electronics factories in the Amazon. In this research, I analyze popular representations of innovation from the global South, as well as questions of labor and skill acquisition and recognition. My research and graduate studies have been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, The New School, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, and Fulbright Program.

Previously, I completed an M.A. in Medical Anthropology at the University of Coimbra with a visiting period at the University of California, Berkeley. In my master’s thesis, I wrote about art practices involving frontier areas of science and emerging technologies. I have also worked as a researcher on several interdisciplinary projects in Europe. As an instructor, I have taught anthropology, social theory, and cultural and media studies to graduate and undergraduate students in the US and Singapore.

I also happen to be a first-gen high-school grad who has had the luck and privilege to study in multiple places and languages. I have experienced several ‘culture shocks’ as a result of this trajectory and learned a lot from it. Feel free to reach out if you’re going through a similar process and would like to talk about it.

lilianagil [at] newschool [dot] edu