Revisiting bio-objects and bio-objectification: Categories, materialities and processes central to the (re)configuration of "life".
Andrew Webster (University of York)
Ingrid Metzler (Vienna University)
Bettina Bock von W├╝lfingen (Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin)
Aaro Tupasela (University of Copenhagen)
Start time:
3 September, 2016 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

We invite papers that use the bio-objects conceptual tools as heuristics for understanding the (re)configuration of "life", which can be seen as the articulation of collectives that do not fit within traditional dichotomies, actors and institutions in life-sciences and health technologies

Long abstract:

Bio-objects, bio-identification, and bio-objectification are a set of conceptual tools that have been developed over the past 10 years to help make sense of the re-configuration of life, the life-sciences and health technologies. These tools help us to make sense of the processes through which conventional boundaries and dichotomies surrounding life, the life-sciences and health technologies are challenged, resisted and/or redrawn. By tracing these processes through diverse laboratories, clinics, bio-economies, and digital realms we are not only able to come to a better understanding of how these novel materialities emerge and operate (i.e. bio-objects), but also of the relationships that are generated alongside them and the practices that seek to govern them. The bio-objects concept hints at the objects' material and socially ordered form; it is distinct from being a mere 'thing' without internal (material) or social (exterior/embedded) order. These two modes of ordering are always relational processes that can be traced in/to empirical situations. We therefore invite both empirical papers investigating processes of bio-objectification and bio-objectification, and theoretical papers seeking to revisit this conceptual toolkit. These papers could include the following areas: -Crafting bio-objects within digital realms -Bio-objects and generative relations -Bio-objectification and biobanking -Bio-objectification and bio-identification: papers on managing the unruly, mainstreaming the alternative -Alternative bio-economies: critical perspectives on a dominant discourse -Failed bio-objects and resistance to bio-objectification: revisiting (past) imaginations of bio-futures or failed attempt to work the identity of bio-objects in particular directions. -Historization of the bio-object conceptual tool kit SESSIONS: 4/3