Dr A.M. Mol (1958) has been named Professor by special appointment of Social Theory, Humanism and Materialities in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Her chair is supported by the Socrates Foundation.
Annemarie Mol's work deals with the theoretical repertoires of the social sciences. Her main interests include the human body and the materiality of social life. Which methods and terms might help to better incorporate these factors into social (or socio-material) theories? With this question as background she has worked on a variety of empirical topics. Her book The Body Multiple (Duke University Press, 2002) presents a detailed ethnographic description of hospital practices, in which ‘the body' figures as an ‘actor enacted' that takes on a variety of shapes in a variety of practices. In The Logic of Care (Routledge, 2008), Mol discusses the process of knowing and intervening in bodies. She argues that the notion of ‘doctoring' fits care work better than the notion of ‘control'. This is not only because bodies are erratic, but also, as Mol demonstrates, because the technologies involved are unpredictable. In collaboration with others she has worked on these and related topics. Publications based on this work include Differences in Medicine (edited with Marc Berg, Duke University Press 1998) and Complexities (edited with John Law, Duke University Press 2002).
In a series of articles that mobilise metaphors such as ‘network', ‘fluid' and ‘semi-permeable boundaries', Mol has raised questions about how things (water pumps, viruses) and practices (measuring, diagnosing) travel from the global north to the south and vice versa. An example of this work is ‘The Zimbabwe Bush Pump. Mechanics of a Fluid Technology', co-authored with Marianne de Laet. Mol's current research focus is on food. Food is both biological and social, but it is at the same time both intimate and global. Studying the socio-material practices of food offers new insights into how people around the world are joined and separated. While in the Western tradition ‘action' has primarily been theorised as manipulation, a matter of eye-hand coordination, Mol seeks to explore what happens if we theorise ‘the actor' as if it (she, he) were an eater.
From 1996 Annemarie Mol was Socrates Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Twente and a senior researcher on a variety of externally financed projects. Prior to that, she worked as a postdoc at the University of Maastricht and Utrecht University and as a junior researcher at the University of Groningen. Since 2006 Mol has been a member of the Social Science Council of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). For The Body Multiple she received the Ludwig Fleck Prize and the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize.