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Dr. Bo Kyeong Seo

Freie Universität Berlin

Center for Area Studies

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dissertation Title:

Suturing the World: the Micro-practices of Care and the Politics of Life in Chiang Mai



  • Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology, 2014 - Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Master of Arts in Anthropology, 2008 - Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, 2005 - Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea



  • The Sir Raymond Firth Award for the most promising PhD dissertation-in-progress, the Department of Anthropology, the Australian National University, November 2013.
  • The Rudolf Virchow Award (Graduate Category Essay Prize), the Society for Medical Anthropology, the American Anthropological Association, November 2013.

Title of research project:

Dialysis as an Assemblage of Care: Health, Technology, and Forms of Life in Contemporary Thailand

Focus of research:

Medical anthropology


Health, Inequality, Sovereignty, Politics of Life, Infrastructure

Regional focus:

Thailand, Mainland Southeast Asia


This research pursues a new agenda in the study of care. Although both practices of care and technology have tremendous implications for the human condition, care is often considered as opposite to technology. Instead of replicating the care-technology distinction, I focus on how various medical and bureaucratic technologies depend on caring practices. I suggest that in the management of life, care is rendered through a situated assemblage of practices, technologies, reasoning, and valuation. This research ethnographically examines how the evolvement of renal replacement therapy configure assemblages of medical technology, human suffering, the state, and the global health economy in the context of the Thai public health care system.

  • Journal Article


2008   “The Right to Health and Politics of Treatment: Access to Antiretroviral Drugs in Thailand”, Journal of Korean Cultural Anthropology, 41(2).


  • Journal Articles Under Review

“The Inscription of Birth: Antenatal Care for Shan Migrant Women and Issues of Legibility," Rudolf Virchow Awarded Essay, submitted to Medical Anthropology Quarterly in July 2014.


“Patient Waiting: Care as a Gift and Debt in the Thai Healthcare System,” submitted to Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute in August 2014.  


  • Selected Conference Presentations


2015    “The Promise of Happiness and Authoritarianism,” Latent Histories, Manifest Impacts: Interplay between Korea and Southeast Asia, Korea Institute, the Australian National University


2014    “Trying, Tinkering, Failing, and Trying Again: Universal Health Coverage in Practice,” Ordering, Morality and Triage: Producing Medical Anthropology Beyond the Suffering Subject, the 113th Annual Meeting of American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC. (Panel Organizer)


2013    “Card/Citizenship and Unexpired Care,” Citizenship Projects in Transnational Asia and the Middle East: Gender, Belonging, and Care, Australian Anthropological Society Annual Conference, Canberra. (Panel Organizer)


2012    "The Moral Economy of Health Care in Thailand," the South East Asian Institute of Global Studies, Payap University, Chiang Mai. (Invited Lecture)


2011    “Free Health Care as ‘Poisonous Gift’: The Case of Intensive Neonatal Treatment in Thailand,” Debt: Interdisciplinary Considerations of an Enduring Human Passion, Clare College, Cambridge.