Embodied Being, Environing World Symposium (CfP, Conference, Paris, June 5-6, 2014)

Embodied Being, Environing World: Local Biologies and Local Ecologies in Global Health
The Interdisciplinary Chair in Anthropology and Global Health in the College d’Etudes Mondiales and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme seeks submissions for a one-day symposium to be held in Paris, France on June 5 and 6.  The event is intended to spark conversation among scholars who are attempting to bring critical studies of global health into conversation with critical environmental studies and science and technology studies (STS).  The goal is to address the increasing entanglement of human biologies with transhuman and nonhuman ecologies: to situate health in what Don Ihde has called “embodied being and environing world.”  Through a themed discussion of short, precirculated working papers (rather than completed articles or chapters), a group of anthropologists, geographers, and STS scholars will discuss the theoretical challenges and opportunities presented by, among other things, the rise of epigenetics, the concept of the microbiome, chemical and other forms of “exposure,” and the persistence of zoonotic and vector-borne disease.  The aim of the symposium is to build upon the body of critical scholarship on global health that has coalesced around the concept of “local biologies,” as originally conceived by Margaret Lock (Lock 1993; Brotherton and Nguyen 2013).

The parameters for submission are rather open.  Papers should address in some way the local variability of biological communities composed of both internal and external biota, dynamic/volatile chemical compounds, and material forms.  Authors should also consider both an oncoming set of new technologies—from fecal transplant to detoxification regimes—and a new set of problems, including climate-related illness, antibiotic resistance, and intergenerational exposure—that stand to reshape health and healing in the Global North and South in the coming decades.

Selected participants will prepare a short (2000-2500 word) working paper for pre-circulation.  These will be read by all participants, and the symposium will be organized into a series of topical discussions that reflect the focus of the selected participants’ work.  While attendees should find these discussions useful as they develop work for publication, an equally important goal is to form a new collective of critical scholars around these emerging issues—one that will hopefully grow in the ensuing months and years.

If interested, please submit a one-page CV and 200-word abstract to Alex Nading by March 25.  Working papers should be prepared for pre-circulation by May 25.  Applicants should be committed to reading and discussing 8 to 10 2000-word working papers, along with members of the interdisciplinary chair and invited senior scholars. Limited funding for travel and lodging for one night in Paris is available through the College d’Etudes Mondiales for scholars coming from Europe and the UK.

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