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Rebecca J. Hester

Rebecca J. Hester, Associate Professor

Rebecca J. Hester, Assistant Professor
Rebecca J. Hester, Associate Professor

Department of Science, Technology, and Society
235 Lane Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8359 |

Rebecca Hester is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society. Her recent research examines contemporary accounts of “biological danger” and the social, political, and scientific implications of preempting, preventing, and eradicating such danger. Her courses at Virginia Tech include “The Foundations of Social Medicine” and “Monsters, Zombies, and Cyborgs.”

  • Global Health
  • Latin American Migration
  • Socio-cultural Studies of Health and Medicine
  • Critical Security Studies
  • Critical race and gender studies
  • PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • MA, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dean’s Advisory Committee on International Initiatives
  • Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Science and Technology in Society
  • Medicine and Society Minor Curriculum Committee
  • Associate Director of Education, Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies
  • Faculty Adviser for the Minor in Medicine and Society
  • Faculty Adviser for the Minor in Displacement Studies


  • Best Dissertation in Latino Studies, Latino Studies Section Dissertation Award Committee, Latin American Studies Association, 2010
  • Chancellor’s Post-doctoral Fellow, Latina/Latino Studies Program, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2009-2010
  • President’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship, University of California Santa Cruz, 2007-2007
  • Diggs' Teaching Scholar 2018


  • Hester, R.J. (2014) Bodies in Translation: Public Health Promotion in Indigenous Mexican Migrant Communities in California. In: Alvarez, S., de Lima Costa, C., Feliú, F., Klahn, N., Hester, R.J., and Thayer, M. with Cruz C. Bueno, editors, Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.  


Journal Articles

  • Hester, R.J. (2015) Cultural Competency Training and Indigenous Cultural Politics in California, Latino Studies Vol. 13, No.3, pp.336-338.
  • Hester, R. J. (2012, December). The Promise and Paradox of Cultural Competence. In HEC Forum (Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 279-291).
  • Hester, R.J., (2015) Biology as Opportunity: Hybridization from a Molecular Point of View. In: Hurt, S. and Lipschutz, R. eds. Hybrid Rule and State Formation: Public-Private Power in the 21st Century, New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Hester, R.J. (2016) Culture in Medicine: An Argument against Competence, Critical Medical Humanities Reader, Edinburgh University Press, In press.
  • Hester, R.J. (2019) Bioveillance: A techno-security response to biological danger, Science as Culture, December. DOI10.1080/09505431.2019.1705270.
  • Hester, R. J., & Williams, O. D. (2019). The somatic-security industrial complex: theorizing the political economy of informationalized biology. Review of International Political Economy, 27(1), 98-124. DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2019.1625801
  • Hester, R.J., (2018) Designing “smart” bodies: Molecular manipulation as a resilience-building strategy, in The Resilience Machine, Simin Davoudi, Jennifer Lawrence, Jim Bohland, eds, Routledge.
  • Mary Moody Northern Endowment, Galveston, TX (Hester, R.J. PI) $2,500.00. “A Qualitative Research Project to Document Community Opinions on Welcoming Central American Refugee Children into the Galveston Community,” 2014.
  • National Institutes of Health, Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program, (Hester, R.J. PI) $21,161.27 “Power and Medicine: Exploring Curricular Innovations for Addressing Health Disparities,” 2011-2013.
  • Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund (Hester, R.J. PI) $28,000.00. “Hear Our Voice: Capturing the Perspective of St. Vincent’s Patients,” 2011-2011.
  • Programa de Investigación en Migración y Salud (PIMSA),University of California Office of the President, California and Mexico, (Hester, R.J., Co-PI with Pat Zavella and Dolores Paris Pombo) $40,000.  “Health Promotion in Indigenous Mexican Communities in Oaxaca and California,” 2006-2008.

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