Find us at 4S: (In)Sensibilities of Human and Microbial Lives

Members of MicrobioSocial have organized a panel at the annual Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) conference in Boston, MA from August 30-September 2, 2017.

(In)Sensibilities of Human and Microbial Lives

Abstract: Building on the call to read and explore how the world is made differently sens-able through multiple discourses and practices of knowledge-making, this panel looks at the sites of human engagements with microscopic life. Symbiotic bacteria, yeast, and worms come to be knowable through different discourses, infrastructures, and embodied practices within laboratory technosciences, synthetic biology, craft food production, healthcare, medicine, and more (Latour, 1988; Helmreich, 2009; Paxson, 2013; Calvert and Frow, 2015; Lorimer, 2016). These cultural forms and institutions, situated as they are within complex histories and infused with power, operate through relations of authority and trust, and the knowledges that they produce are contested and contestable. Through human-yeast, human-bacteria, and human-helminth relationships, this panel explores how these relations and contestations enable different kinds of life and lives, and how (re)configuring the techniques and technologies of microbial and human engagements might offer other ways of “getting on together” (Haraway 2016).

Paper Presentations:

  • The synthetically biological morphology of human-yeast relationships
    Erika Szymanski, University of Edinburgh
  • Brett’s in the House: Fermenting Value, Care, and Microbial Cultures
    Andy Murray, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Fermentation as Metaphor and Praxis for Living Impurely
    Stephanie Maroney, University of California, Davis
  • Health Hazard: The Dangerous Proliferation of a Pet Parasite
    Sophia Strosberg, University of Minnesota
  • Discussant: Amber Benezra, New York University
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