Professor Jain’s expertise is in medical and legal anthropology.
In her first book, Injury, investigated how human injury takes place and is understood in relation to corporate, legal, and personal power. The key question enabling such analysis is: how and why do certain types of human wounding come to count as legally compensable injuries while others do not? In short, why do some forms of suffering matter socially, leading to design regulation or financial compensation, while others do not? The politics of suffering—or the evaluation of human health and injury—is historically bound, shifting with varying understandings of negligence, responsibility, rational behaviors, and good design.
Her second book, in progress, examines cancer as a key modality through which American high-tech is experienced and explained.
Professor Jain joined Stanford Anthropology after completing her PhD in the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Her other research interests include the history of exploration and outdoor adventure and art and design.
Jain was awarded the Cultural Horizons Prize by the Society for Cultural Anthropology for best article published in the journal Cultural Anthropology in 2004. She was a National Humanities Center Fellow in 2006, was a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center in 2010, a Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences in 2011, and was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship in 2011.