Alexandra Middleton is a sixth-year PhD candidate working at the interface of medical anthropology, feminist studies of science and technology, neuroscience, disability studies, embodiment, and sensory studies. Her dissertation, “Designing the Sensory: Neuroprosthetic Relations In-the-Making of Laboratory and Domestic Life,” examines the translation of embodied sensory knowledge into technology and analyzes the role of the home as a key site of science-in-the-making. Alexandra’s ethnographic fieldwork examined two clinical trials in Sweden—one developing brain-controlled prosthetic limbs with sensory feedback and another testing a therapeutic technology to treat phantom limb pain. For two years, she followed patients, engineers, clinicians and devices along the trajectory of translational medicine—laboratory, clinic, industry, and patients’ homes—to understand how humans and machines live with/among/against one another.
Alexandra’s dissertation research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. She was awarded the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship for 2020-2021, Princeton’s top graduate student honor.
Alexandra holds a BA in cultural anthropology with a minor in neuroscience from Duke University, where she followed pre-medical training. She has conducted prior research in Togo and Brazil. Alexandra is also a documentary photographer and plans to incorporate visual methodology (photography and ethnographic film) into her dissertation.