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Allison Fish

Allison Fish

Postdoctoral Scholar


  1. Ph.D. Anthropology (specialization in Anthropologies of Medicine, Science, and Technology), University of California, Irvine, 2010.
  2. J.D./M.P.A. Law & Public Administration, University of Arizona, 2003.
  3. B.A. Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1999.


Research Interests

Cultural Anthropology; Science and Technology Studies; Socio-legal Studies; Intellectual & Cultural Property; Yoga; Health Information Technology; India & US

Current Research Interests

Three questions that have directed much of my recent work are: What are the cultural logics, legal forms, and technological infrastructures that guide information/knowledge management practices? How do law and technology mediate access? And How is accessibility being framed as a fundamental human right and critical pathway to social enfranchisement? At this time I am completing publication projects and conducting follow up research on two ethnographic projects. What ties both of these projects together is my commitment to understanding how people go about sharing socially-charged information/knowledge with one another. My primary research explores recent developments surrounding one key mechanism impacting access to knowledge and cultural heritage - intellectual property rights (IPRs). The project addresses the globalization and commodification of South Asian traditional medical/spiritual systems conjoined in yoga and the ramifications this has for local and international markets and legal systems. Fieldwork for this project took place over 24 months and is focused in India, but includes segments in California, Hong Kong, and Switzerland. A secondary project examines the use of new tele-medical technologies to deliver specialty care to Latino and African-American Type II diabetic patients living in South Central Los Angeles. Specifically, this research is a pragmatic and critical multi-disciplinary collaboration geared towards understanding if and how tele-retinal screening cameras can be used to facilitate health information communication between ophthalmological specialists, general practitioners, and patients.

Selected Work

In progress. Laying Claim to Yoga: Intellectual Property, Cultural Rights, and the Digital Archive in India. Book-length manuscript based on dissertation research (prospectus under review).

Under review. “’I Am the Author’: Conceptions of Digital Authorship and the Management of India’s Yoga”. Article-length manuscript.

2011 “Workflow Concerns and Workarounds of Readers in an Urban Safety Net Teleretinal Screening Study”. Conference Proceedings for the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Informatics Association (1st Author).

2006 “The Commodification and Exchange of Knowledge in the Case of Transnational Yoga”. The International Journal of Cultural Property 13(2): 189-206.

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