Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
Rebecca Lester’s work sits at the intersection of anthropology, psychiatry, religion, and gender studies. She is interested in how individuals experience existential distress, and how this distress manifests as psychiatric symptoms, religious angst, somatic pain, and other culturally informed bodily conditions. Specifically, she considers how bodily practices deemed "deviant," "extreme," or "pathological"-and local responses to such practices-make visible competing cultural logics of acceptable moral personhood.
Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art, Washington University in St. Louis
Through her work, Patricia Olynyk investigates the often-tenuous relationships between human culture, science and the environment. Her installations frequently call upon viewers to expand their awareness of the worlds they inhabit-whether those worlds are their own bodies or the spaces that surround them. In her latest series, Probe, she utilizes a vast inventory of prosthetic devices and medical instruments collected for their historical value in order to comment on the human desire to fetishize and even anthropomorphize objects used to supplement or probe the human body. Her photographs draw together both the historical and modern desire to control and manipulate our corporeal selves.