Abigail Coplin


Assistant Professor, Vassar College 2018-2019 CSCC Postdoctoral Fellow

Abigail Coplin was a 2018-2019 CSCC postdoctoral fellow. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Science, Technology and Society at Vassar College. Her research is situated in political sociology, economic sociology, and science and technology studies. It examines the entanglement—and coproduction of—science, politics, and nationalism in contemporary China, and exposes mechanisms by which non-democratic states contend with experts and incorporate expertise into their governance schemes and legitimacy claims. Her various projects demonstrate that while the Chinese Communist Party-state (CCP) seeks to harness science and technology as a legitimizing ideology and economic driver, semi-incorporating them within the state also gives rise to new, often unintended, dynamics that the party-state must address. 

Dr. Coplin holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, an M.A. in Regional Studies of East Asia from Harvard University, and a B.S. in Chemistry and East Asian Studies from Yale University. Prior to her appointment at Penn, she had held fellowships from the Yale Council on East Asian Studies, and Fulbright Association. She is an avid sailor, spontaneous dancer, and aspiring molecular gastronomist.