Lara Choksey

Research Fellow

Biography

I’m working on “Postgenomic Environments”: a project which brings literary and cultural studies approaches to questions of health, care, community, and environment in the genomic and postgenomic eras, as well as looking at uses of precision genomic medicine locally, nationally, and globally. I received my PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies in 2017 from the University of Warwick, and I have an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, London (2011), and a BA in English from the University of Leeds (2010). I’m currently writing my first monograph, Narrative in the Age of the Genome: Genetic Worlds, under contract with Bloomsbury.

Before my PhD, I worked as a journalist in India, writing on urban development, crime, and health for the Statesman newspaper in Kolkata. Lots of the questions I work on now around environment, public health, and government policy came out of stories I covered there. I’m also a member of the Global Warwickshire Collective, a group of academics and community activists exploring methods of investigating local histories with descendants of the Windrush generation in the Midlands.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre

At the Centre, I’m working on speculative methods of approaching new (and old) narratives of complexity, interdependence, and influence, via current work on epigenetics and the microbiome. A particular interest I have is in the relationship between possible and speculative practices of precision genomic healthcare, and postgenomic research on environmental and non-genealogical influences on genetic expression. What new narratives does postgenomic era yield for the ways we consider and carry out care within and between communities, and how is this new paradigm registered through shifting conceptions of “community” and “environment”? I’m looking forward to drawing the vast range of methodological expertise at the Centre into collaborations in and out of the university on postgenomic narratives, attending to how the idea of the genome continues to shape the imaginative possibilities of lifeworlds in policy and practice.

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