Philippe Bourgois Named Newest PIK Professor at Penn

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | jposey@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-6460January 24, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- Philippe Bourgois, a world renowned medical anthropologist from the University of California, San Francisco, has been named the fifth Penn Integrates Knowledge professor at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Bourgois has earned international acclaim for his ethnographic research with drug abusers.  His research encompasses medical anthropology, cultural production, political economy, urban anthropology, substance abuse, HIV prevention, violence, ethnography, ethnicity and immigration and inner-city social suffering.  Bourgois has devoted much of his recent research to the prevalence of violence and disease among homeless drug abusers in San Francisco.

His books include "In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio," which received the 1996 C. Wright Mills Prize from the Society for the Study of Social Problems of the American Sociological Association and the 1997 Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.  

Conceived by Penn President Amy Gutmann, PIK professorships are awarded to exceptional scholars whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across academic disciplines.  

"The appointment of Philippe Bourgois to this PIK professorship will be of enormous benefit to Penn's strong medical anthropology program," Gutmann said, "and also to our medical researchers and clinicians who endeavor to create more pragmatic public-health strategies and interventions to help our most vulnerable populations.  Much of Dr. Bourgois' research brilliantly probes the myriad behaviors, belief systems and social structures that affect public health.  He is also a spellbinding classroom teacher who will have a tremendous impact on teaching and research throughout our University."

Bourgois will hold the Richard Perry University Professorship, named in recognition of a gift from Richard Perry, a Penn trustee and founder of the investment management firm Perry Capital.  Bourgois will hold appointments in the Department of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences and in the Department of Family Practice and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine.

"We are delighted to welcome to Penn one of the world's leading medical anthropologists whose work is quintessentially interdisciplinary," Penn Provost Ron Daniels said.  "Philippe Bourgois has a demonstrated record of bringing anthropological knowledge and insight to bear on medical issues, and, in turn, his own research has been shaped by a deep understanding of research issues and clinical practice in medicine."  

At the University of California, San Francisco, Bourgois is a professor in the School of Medicine and vice chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine.  

He received a bachelor's degree in social studies from Harvard College, master's degrees in anthropology and in development economics from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford.  Bourgois completed his post-doctoral training at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris.  

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