A01
Biosocial forms of living: imbricating technologies, social and medical knowledge

Convenors:
Luca Chiapperino (University of Lausanne)
Yannis Papadaniel (University of Lausanne)
Giada Danesi (University of Lausanne)
Format:
Location:
Cavendish Lecture Theatre (Faraday Complex)
Start time:
27 July, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel aims at analysing biosocial engagements as practices materializing and giving sense to the entanglement of bodies and environments, by addressing one common question: how do technologies and experiences, biographies and biologies intertwine in the production of biosocial forms of living?

Long abstract:

Pioneering studies of technology in medicine (e.g. Mol and Elsman 1996) have long drawn the attention of STS scholars to the heterogeneous configurations of social and factual elements giving sense to diagnoses and the experience of illness. More recently, the opportunities offered by post-genomic sciences are widely regarded as heralding a turn (e.g. Ingold and Palsson 2013), which alleges opening up the conceptualizations of biology to its complex sociocultural imbrications. Although the latter ground their approach to bodies upon concepts and metaphors still in the making, it is worth asking how this emerging episteme influences the ways individuals (patients and relatives) experience illness, and what parallels can be made with established accounts of the role of technologies in these processes. To this purpose, this panel aims at analysing biosocial engagements as practices materializing and giving sense to the entanglement between bodies and their (ecological, social, cultural) environments. In particular, we are interested in documentations of how agents dealing with a medical ordeal, kinship and heritability issues or social behaviours mobilise and transform cultural habits (e.g. eating, sport, etc.), knowledge of body/environment relationships (e.g. exposures, microbial symbioses, etc.), and biomedical technologies of health and disease (e.g. digital monitoring, self-quantification). We encourage submissions deeply rooted in empirical studies of the biosocial at the crossroads between technoscience, biomedicine and society, which address one fundamental question: how do technologies and experiences, biographies and biologies intertwine in the production of and experimentation with biosocial forms of living?