Abigail Nieves Delgado is a researcher at he Department of Philosophy I and at the Centre for Anthropological Knowledge in Scientific and Technological Cultures (CAST), Ruhr University Bochum. Her research interests include the history and philosophy of the life sciences, and the history of physical anthropology. She received her PhD in 2016 (thesis entitled ‘The dominion of the face: A critical and historical analysis of the study of the human face’, Spanish title) from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). This work investigates a number of historical and contemporary approaches to measure the human face ranging from classical anthropometry to today’s forensics in order to address the relationship between classification and individuation. In particular, it shows that traditional racial categories are deeply entrenched in contemporary scientific measuring practices and uses of related technology. Currently, she works on the project "Collecting and categorizing faces for security: Facial recognition in the era of Big Data" (funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation). This research focuses on philosophical, anthropological and socio-political issues related to recent trends in biometric identification through facial recognition. Other research interests concern Latin American studies and bioeconomy as well as political and anthropological dimensions of epigenetics and the history of symbiosis and holobiont research.

Vita

  • 10-12/2019: Visiting Scholar, Digial Ethics Lab, Oxford Internet Insitute, University of Oxford
  • 02-03/2019: Visiting scholar, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam
  • 04/2018-03/2020: Research fellowship (Gerda Henkel Foundation; Special Program 'Security, Society and the State')
  • 06/2017-05/2018: Research fellowship (German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD)
  • 01/2017: Researcher, Department of Philosophy I & Centre for Anthropological Knowledge in Scientific and Technological Cultures (CAST), Ruhr University Bochum
  • 10/2016: PhD, Philosophy of Science, National Autonomous University of Mexico (Winner of Alfonso Caso Medal 2016, UNAM)
  • 06/2015 and 06-12/2016: Visiting PhD Student and Visting Scholar, Mercator Research Group ‘Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge’, Ruhr University Bochum
  • 04-05/2015: Visiting PhD Student, University of Chile (PUC), Santiago de Chile
  • 05-07/2014: Visiting PhD Student, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam
  • 04/2011: M.A. degree in Philosophy of Science, National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM

 

Publications

 Books and Editions

  • Dissertation: ‘El dominio del rostro: Un análisis histórico y crítico del estudio de la cara humana’ [The dominion of the face: A critical and historical analysis of the study of the human face] (2016)
  • Special issue ‘Filosofía de las ciencias de la vida: Fronteras difusas’ [Philosophy of the life sciences: Blurred borders] In: Metatheoria, 5(1) (2014). [Co-editors: X. Arteaga-Villamil, X.A. González Grandón].

Journal Articles

  • The Face of the Mexican: Race, Nation and Criminal Identification in Mexico. In American Anthropologist (forthcoming).
  • Race and nutrition in the New World: Colonial shadows in the age of epigenetics. In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. (Co-author: Jan Baedke; 2019) [download pdf]
  • Science, Politics and the Production of Biological Knowledge: New Trends and Old Challenges. In: Journal of General Philosophy of Science 49(3): 467–473 (2018). [download pdf]
  • What do I look like? Narratives of origin, heredity and identity written on the face. (Co-author: Vivette García Deister, Carlos López Beltrán). In: AIBR, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 12(3): 313-337 (2017). [download pdf]
  • The OECD and the development of bioeconomy in Mexico. In: Metatheoria, 5(1): 187-202 (2014). [download pdf]

Book Chapters

  • The history of the ‘Red-Man’: William Bollaert and the indigenous people of the Americas. In: Efram Sera-Shriar (ed.): Historicizing Humans: Deep Time, Evolution and Race in Nineteenth-century British Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Press (History and Philosophy of Science Series), 91-112. (Co-author: M. Esposito; 2018).

Reviews & Others 

  • Facelessness: A relational politics (book review of J. Edkins: Face Politics. Routledge, 2015). In: Cultural Politics, 12(3): 391-393 (2016).
  • Review of Mestizo Genomics. Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America. Peter Wade, Carlos López Beltrán, Eduardo Restrepo, and Ricardo Ventura Santos (eds.) (2014). In: Medicine Anthropology Theory, 1(1): 208-210 (2014).
  • Introduction. In: Metatheoria, 5(1): 1-3 (2014). [Co-authors: X. Arteaga-Villamil, X.A. González Grandón].
  • Translation to Spanish of E. Restrepo, E. Schwarts and R. Cardenas (2014): Nation and difference in the genetic imagination of Colombia (Chapter 2). In: P. Wade, C. López Beltrán, E. Restrepo, and R. Ventura Santos (eds.): Mestizo Genomics. Race Mixture, Nation, and Science in Latin America. (2014).
  • Genes para la bioeconomía [Genes for bioeconomy]. In: Pacal Medlab, 5(2): 14-18. (2013).
  • Transgénicos: Del campo mexicano a tu mesa [Transgenics: From the field to your meal]. In: Revista Transversal, Instituto of Alternative Studies, (INAL), No. 7 (2007).
  • Preguntas a la Consulta Verde [Questions on Mexico’s City Green Poll]. In: Newspaper Otras Voces, Instituto of Alternative Studies A.C. INAL (August 2007).

 

Presentations

Upcoming presentations

  • From Galton to Facebook: Producing facial types in the study of human variation and identification. Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), July 2019, Oslo, Norway.
  • What is a normal face? Karl Pearson’s principal component analysis, facial recognition technologies and race. Meeting of the History of Science Society, July 2019, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Selected past presentations

  • Tecnologías de reconocimiento facial y categorías raciales. El caso FERET. [Facial recognition technologies and racial categories. The case FERET] Seminario de Historia y Filosofía de la Ciencia Racializada. 6 November 2018. National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • ¿Cómo ven las tecnologías de reconocimiento facial? [How do facial recognition technologies see?] 22 October 2018, National Autonomous University of Mexico. Mexico.
  • Health, Nutrition, and Race in the New World: Colonial Shadows in the Age of Epigenetics, Sept. 14th 2018, Meeting of the GWMT, Ruhr University Bochum [with Jan Baedke]
  • Facial recognition technology as software of categorization. 25-28 July 2018, EASST 2018 Meeting. Lancaster, England.
  • The making of identity. April 10th 2018. Privacy, Data Protection & Surveillance (Bochum Edition).
  • From Austrian racial anthropology to Mexican criminal identification: Mapping the impact of Rudolf Pöch’s facial classification. 21-23 March 2018, Conference: To research and to exhibit human biological diversity. Oslo, Norway.
  • Facial recognition technologies and the old problem of human categorization, October 18 2017, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Seminar, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Ways of seeing faces: Race as visible difference in facial reconstruction. Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), July 2017, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Biometric faces: Past and present technologies of standardization, July 14 2016, Colloquium for History and Philosophy of Science (Institut of Philosophy I), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
  • Caramex as a faciality machine of representation: Face, nation and criminal identification in Mexico, February 18-19th 2016, Workshop “Race-making and Face-making in Physical Anthropology”, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Producing difference: Facial reconstruction, transnational science and the making of racial indexes, Nov. 27th 2015, Workshop “Cultures of Anthropological Knowledge in Germany and Mexico”, University of Morelia, Mexico.
  • What do I look like? Narratives of origin, heredity and identity written on the face, Nov. 23rd 2015. Symposium “Los usos de la herencia siglos XX y XXI” [The uses of heredity in the 20th and 21st centuries], University of Santiago (USACH), Chile.
  • Face to face with our ancestors: Anatomical knowledge and race in facial reconstruction in Mexico, Sep. 10th 2015 Iberoamerican Association of Philosophy of Biology Conference (AIFIBI), National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions (ANUIES), Valle de Bravo, Mexico.
  • Giving a Face to our Ancestors: An Historical Approach to Facial Reconstruction, July 2nd 2015, Meeting of the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS), Swansea University, England.
  • From bone to flesh: Facial reconstruction, objectivity and race at the charnel house of Villa de Guadalupe, Mexico, June 16th 2015, Workshop “Cultures of Anthropological Knowledge in Germany and Mexico”, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • The criminal face: Lombroso and the new research on the criminal facial traits, Meeting of Philosophy and the Sciences, Rolando Chuaqui Kettlun, Oct. 16th 2014, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago de Chile.
  • The Making of the Mexican Face: Caramex and the History of Criminal Identification, July 3rd 2014, Meeting of the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS), University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
  • Caramex: A New Face for Mexican Criminals, June 27th, 2014, Workshop “Making Faces, Making Races: On Practices of Phenotypes”, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • The face of the Mexican: Philosophical and historical perspectives on the Project Caramex, April 10th 2014, International Conference of Philosophy: Doing Philosophy in Mexico in the 20 century, University of Morelia, Mexico.
  • Do I look Mexican? The Reification of a National Face, July 10th 2013, Meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB), University of Montpellier, France.
  • Comment on P. Murray: Visions and Disputations: Medieval Perspectives on Ensoulment. July 1st 2013. Ischia Summer School 2013: Creating Life: From Alchemy to Synthetic Biology, Zoological Station Anton Dohrn, Ischia, Italy.
  • The genomic mestizo: From race mixture to gene mixture, Nov. 28th 2012, Iberoamerican Association of Philosophy of Biology Conference (AIFBI), University of Valencia, Spain.
  • Facial reifications and typologies: The human face as space of inductive inferences, Nov. 21th 2013, Department of Philosophy, Seminar for Graduate Students, University of Santiago (USACH), Chile.
  • Configurations of the hereditary: The reception of human genetics by a Mexican public, Jan. 8th 2013. Workshop of the project “Race, genomics and mestizaje (mixture) in Latin America: A comparative approach”, University of Manchester, England.
  • Genomic medicine as research program: The case of diabetes, Oct. 18th 2012, International Meeting on Quality Control and Modernization in the Clinical Laboratory, (PACAL), Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Is this because I am a mestizo? Causality and pluralism in racialized genomics, April 10th 2012, National Meeting of Sciences, University of the Americas (UDLAP), Mexico.
  • Pluralism and causality: The racialization of genomic science, Feb. 9th 2012, Colombian Conference of Logic, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, University of the Andes, Bogota, Colombia.
  • Causal narratives in contemporary biology, Oct. 26th 2011, International Conference of Philosophy, University of Toluca, Mexico.

 

Dr. Abigail Nieves Delgado

Institut für Philosophie I & Centre for Anthropological Knowledge in Scientific and Technological Cultures (CAST)
GA 7/55
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum
Tel. +49(0)234/32-27940
Email: abigail.nievesdelgado@rub.de