2022 Richard B. Lippin Lecture in Ethics
Katrina Karkazis is a cultural anthropologist working at the intersection of science and technology studies, theories of gender and race, social studies of medicine, and bioethics. Karkazis’ research and teaching examine—and challenge—scientific and medical beliefs about gender, sexuality, and the body across a range of topics. Karkazis is Professor of Sexuality, Women’s, and Gender Studies at Amherst College and a Senior Research Fellow with the Global Health Justice Partnership at Yale University. She previously held appointments at Stanford University and as the Carol Zicklin Chair in the Honors Academy at Brooklyn College, CUNY. She has also served as a Visiting Professor at Emory University.
Professor Karkazis’ latest book, Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography, written with Rebecca Jordan-Young and published by Harvard University Press, unsettles a great deal of long-standing knowledge and beliefs about this hormone. Testosterone was awarded the Gold Medal in Science from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Brocher Foundation, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship and an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship. A recent essay, “The Masculine Mystique of T,” was published in the New York Review of Books.
Karkazis’ work on testosterone stems from her earlier research, including research on “sex testing” and sport regulations that ban women athletes with naturally high testosterone. This research has appeared in Science, The American Journal of Bioethics, BMJ, and Feminist Formations. She contributed to Dutee Chand’s successful appeal of the IAAF’s testosterone regulation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and served as an expert witness in the hearing. She also consulted with Caster Semenya’s team prior to her CAS hearing. Karkazis has also contributed the Report of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Intersection of race and gender discrimination in sport (June 2020) and the Human Rights Watch Report, “They’re Chasing Us Away from Sport”: Human Rights Violations in Sex Testing of Elite Women Athletes (December 2020).
Karkazis began her career looking at controversies over treatment for people with intersex traits, which resulted in the book, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience (Duke 2008). Fixing Sex was a finalist for Lambda Literary Award in 2009 and a nominee for the Margaret Mead Award in 2010.
Karkazis’ research has been covered in the New York Times, Time, BuzzFeed, The Week, CNN, ESPN, The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Jezebel, Slate, The Advocate, La Liberation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, San Jose Mercury News, and the Toronto Star. She has also appeared on The World, BBC, CBS News, NBC News, KCBS, CTV News, Q Radio, Al Jazeera, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, among others.
Katrina Karkazis holds a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology and a Master’s in Public Health, both from Columbia University.