William Robertson

About William Robertson

In the broadest sense, I am interested in the interplay of culture, science, and medicine. More specifically, my research involves questions concerning how biomedical education, training, specialization, and practice are co-constitutive with sex/gender and sexuality. Building on my previous research and interests on the role of medicine in (re)producing heteronormativity, my dissertation research uses HPV and anal dysplasia/cancer as a lens through which to examine the interplay among biomedical practices, especially techniques and technologies related to screening and treatment, and sex/gender and sexuality. By paying close attention to a sexually transmitted infection that has been highly gendered in public health campaigns and medical interventions, I hope to shed light on the cultural assumptions at work in the enactment of HPV and anal dysplasia/cancer.

Selected Publications

2017. "Believe it or Not": The Medical Framing of Rectal Foreign Bodies. Culture, Health, and Sexualityhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2016.1263874

2016. The Irrelevance Narrative: Queer (In)Visibility in Medical Education and Practice. Medical Anthropology Quarterlyhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/maq.12289/abstract

Courses Taught

Summer 2017, 2018 - Instructor for ANTH/GWS/CPH 438A Women's Health in Global Perspective

Spring 2017 - TA for ANTH 150B Many Ways of Being Human

Spring 2016 - TA for ANTH 160D2 Origins of Human Diversity

Previous courses taught at UTSA:

Anthropology of Biomedicine

Sex, Gender & Culture

Kinship & Social Organization

Language, Thought, and Culture

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Introduction to Anthropology (Four-Field)


I am conducting dissertation fieldwork beginning in Summer 2018 at a clinic that specializes in the treatment of anal disease in Chicago, Illinois, USA. I was the Qualitative Data Manager for Dr. Susan Shaw's RxHL project from fall 2014 through fall 2016.

Research Interests

Anthropology of the body; sex/gender and sexuality; heteronormativity and homonormativity; biopolitics and political anatomy; medical education/training and the development of specialization and expertise; anthropology of health, illness, disease, and sickness; HPV; anal dysplasia/cancer; syndemics of HPV; the politics of social categorization; science and technology studies; queer health disparities; queer & trans theories; structural violence; social justice movements; science and popular culture

William Robertson's picture


MA, Anthropology - The University of Texas at San Antonio (2013)
BA, Anthropology - The University of Texas at San Antonio (2010)