Paul Rabinow is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California (Berkeley), Director of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Research Collaboratory (ARC), and former Director of Human Practices for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC).
He is perhaps most famous for his widely influential commentary and expertise on the French philosopher Michel Foucault. He was a close interlocutor of Michel Foucault, and has edited and interpreted Foucault’s work as well as ramifying it in new directions.
Rabinow’s work has consistently confronted the challenge of inventing and practicing new forms of inquiry, writing, and ethics for the human sciences. He argues that current knowledge production practices, institutions, and venues for understanding humanity in the 21st century are inadequate institutionally and epistemically. In response, he has been designing modes of experimentation and collaboration consisting in focused ‘concept work’ and explorations of new forms of case-based inquiry.