“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kim Fortun: Biopolitics Liveblog 3

Late industrialism. Images we need to think well about. Anthropology that encourages historical attunement. Decide what is figure and ground in your project.

Bhopal. Global asthma epidemic. Theories of modernity and empire don't quite allow us to read the contemporary landscape as just riven with risk.

Environmental health sciences. Disaster relief. Creative scientific developments that have tried to get their head around toxics.

Emergent knowledge formations. Some science is shut down as "insufficient evidence."
americanchemistry: "essential2living" "essential2health"
Defining the science of interpretation for toxicity testing.
Chemical and related manufacturing has gone way up.

Can Foucault help us to think about the active production of ignorance, beyond discipline.
Fracking, deepwater drilling. Extraordinary lack of oversight and regulation. It's an actively produced lack of discipline.

Nondisciplinary trends: the queering of environmental health knowledge. Toxpi project of EPA on endocrine disruptors. All the focus on overly structured subjects (Foucault) doesn't work here.

Something as simple as a glass of water requires a huge infrastructure.
Regulatory cynicism: all the spill response plans are copied from the same text, and the aesthetic format is the same. How do we respond to this cynicism?
Probably 40 government agencies worked on BP spill. Lack of coordination.

Groundwater depletion revealed by GRACE. How do we think about system coupling that produces disaster? The problems at hand becoming a joke. We need theoretical frameworks that help us in that articulation.

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