Remaking the biosocial by other means
Susan Kelly (University of Exeter)
Sahra Gibbon (University College London (UCL))
Start time:
2 September, 2016 at 16:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Health, genetics, climate, agriculture, and human/nonhuman relations are areas where biosocial knowledge is being constituted. The track seeks comparative national and/or transnational perspectives on the Biosocial, and on forms of biological plasticity and/or social determinism they entail/produce.

Long abstract:

With degradation of 'the gene for' understandings, and both life and human scientists calling into question 20th century nature/culture debates, the notion of the 'biosocial' has picked up renewed force across disciplines, emerging as a central framework for new models of the body/world interface, partly as a result of new fields of science as such as epigenetics (Landecker and Panofsky 2013). These developments are directing attention to complex ways in which the 'biological' and the 'social' are both produced and interact, as well as to the ways such interactions are modelled. Human health and genetics are some areas in which biosocial knowledge is being produced; others include human/environment interactions relating to the climate, agriculture, and human/nonhuman relations. Biosocial knowledge is now being positioned as having economic impact and value as well. This track is open to contributions from across the global south and north that ideally can bring comparative national and/or transnational perspectives to issues raised by the Biosocial, and the forms of biological plasticity and/or social determinism they entail and produce, as well as contributions that reflect on the interdisciplinarity entailed in biosocial research. It particularly seeks contributions that can reflect on how histories of the biological vis-a-vis the 'environment' inform seemingly novel configurations which may or appear to constitute the biosocial by 'other means'. It seeks to widen discussion of these developments beyond Euro-American societies to facilitate knowledge of how particular different 'local biologies' (Lock and Nguyen 2010) expand and extend across national and trans-national arenas.