Wednesday, Nov. 22: Natalja Czarnecki presents at the MaIOW

Wednesday, November 22, 4:30-6:00pm. Rosenwald 329

The Medicine and Its Objects Workshop presents: Natalja Czarnecki (Anthropology)

Something in the Way He Says ‘Babushka Production’: Managerial Experts, Sincere Regulation, and Food Safety Reform in Post-Soviet Tbilisi, Georgia

 with opening comments by Eugene Raikhel (Comparative Human Development)

 In 2014, Georgia and the EU signed an Association Agreement, after which the Georgian National Food Agency, a department of the Ministry of Agriculture, began a process of “harmonizing” its legal food safety codes in accordance with those of the EU and of global organizations such as the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization.  In this context of regulatory reform, this chapter offers an ethnographic account of the making of sincere, regulatory authority – here embodied in the figure of the “managerial expert” positioned within a state bureaucracy, the National Food Agency.  By comparing different feminizations of the Georgian food-producing countryside as invoked and imagined at sites of my fieldwork in Tbilisi between 2013 and 2016, I hope to demonstrate the moralized politics involved in contemporary discourses around the objects and limits of transnational food safety regulatory regimes’ claims to trustworthiness.

I will examine the kind of feminization of the countryside emergent in a day-long conference on the “Future of Food Safety in Georgia,” wherein EU and global regulatory experts organized and moderated a discussion on regulatory policy and responsibility between Georgian state and private-sector interests.  In this idealization, the countryside (embodied by “small-scale family farmers”) is understood in variably gendered ways, depending on the position from which it is invoked.  According to EU and other transnational experts at the conference, in paternalistic terms: vulnerable and in need of care and reform; fertile but cheap, lacking in relative market value; and inexperienced.  To the Georgian experts and to other experts who attended the conference from former socialist Eastern Europe, this paternalistic characterization of the countryside is different in its terms of moral valuation; it is in need of “care” and perhaps archaic, but it is also deeply familiar, an object of masculinized affection.

The Georgian food safety manager-expert emerges as someone in a particular kind of “proximate distance” to its object of regulation, managing his/her position as oriented to both the authority of technocratic codes emanating from the EU, but also sincerely caring about his/her very familiar object of regulation, here the pastoral countryside. I will discuss what these processes of gendering might tell us about the kind of moral authorities that are claimed and emergent in the politics of transnational regulatory regimes at EU and global “peripheries.”

To receive the paper, or if you have any questions or require assistance to attend, email the workshop coordinator: Kieran Kelley (kierankelley@uchicago.edu)

To subscribe to our mailing list, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects 

Nov. 8: Anne-Sophie Reichert presents “Leben im Versuch”

Wednesday, November 8, 4:30-6:00pm, in Rosenwald 329

The Medicine and Its Objects Workshop welcomes:

Anne-Sophie Reichert (Anthropology)

Leben im Versuch: Experimental Culture in Hellerau, Germany (1910-1914) 

This paper traces the formative period of Germany’s first garden city Hellerau, located in the vicinity of Dresden to house the famous Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau. It focuses on Hellerau’s peculiar experimental culture, examining the exploratory and innovative spirit that pervades the overall life and work ethos, architecture and pedagogy of the village. I begin by outlining the historical context of the project Hellerau. In the archives, Hellerau was repeatedly described as an experiment or a laboratory. I consequently address how this scientific language, one largely employed by scientists and doctors in the metropolis at the time, traveled to a furniture factory in the Saxonian countryside. Following, I offer a reading of Hellerau’s laboratory life that takes the arts and sciences into view from an integrated perspective. I argue that if we look at Hellerau from a standpoint that does not stop at the objects and practices conventionally analyzed and hence established by various and possibly antagonistic disciplinary standards, we can ascertain that what it meant to conduct an experiment was not solely defined within the confines of the scientific laboratory. On the contrary, in Hellerau experiments were carried out across the arts and sciences, in the private and in the public, in the factory and on stage. Therefore, the repertoire of experimental language and practice did not belong exclusively to the natural sciences but crossfertilized and developed between artistic, scientific and socio-political realms to the end of advancing modern social life. In this sense, Hellerau’s experiments embody a central aspect of the experience of modernity at the turn of the 20th century: that of life as always unfinished and perpetually evolving, as open-ended and instable, forever.

Please join us for a lively discussion and refreshments always unfinished!

To receive the paper, or if you have any questions or require assistance to attend, email the workshop coordinator: Kieran Kelley (kierankelley@uchicago.edu)

To subscribe to our mailing list, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

Zoe H. Wool visits MaIOW

Please join the Medicine and Its Objects Workshop for a special presentation from…

Zoe H. Wool (Rice University, Anthropology and Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality) 

Straight Time, Base Technologies, and the Feeling of No Feeling: Queer Attachments and Disability in the Aftermath of War
Wednesday, October 25, 4:30-6:00pm, in Rosenwald 329
Professor Wool’s work examines questions of personhood and the body at times when the body—both its fleshy contours and its social entailments—becomes unsteady. These interests are rooted in her ethnographic field research with grievously injured American soldiers and their family members. They extend to broader questions about the social, cultural, ethical, intimate, carnal, and clinical situations within which such special categories of life, death, and personhood accrue value or are debrided of it in late liberal democracies. In addition to anthropology, Professor Wool’s work draws on queer and critical theory, critical disability studies, and studies of public culture to address questions of debility and intimacy; personhood and the body; war, trauma, and modern medicine; and the fleshy contours of worthy life in the contemporary United States.
 
NB: There will be no pre-circulated paper for this workshop. 
 
As part of her visit, we will have student coffee hours at 12:15 and 1:30 in Foster 108, and a dinner following the workshop. 
If you are interested in attending either of these events, or for any questions or concerns, please contact Kieran Kelley (kierankelley@uchicago.edu)

Camille Roussel presents…

Wednesday, October 18, 4:30-6:00pm, in Rosenwald 329

The Medicine and Its Objects Workshop presents the inimitable:

Camille Roussel (Comparative Human Development)

please join us to discuss:

“Protect Me from Pregnancy”: Rethinking (Bio)Politics in Guatemala

with opening comments by

Jenny Miao Hua (Anthropology and Medicine)

My project explores the emergence of a new Guatemalan public health campaign, called “Protect me from Pregnancy,” that seeks to prevent pregnancies in girls under the age of 14. While around 80% of child pregnancies result from abuse within the family, campaign organizers and health professionals are most concerned with the 20% of victims who, they believe, to be indigenous girls who become pregnant due to “backward indigenous tradition” of early marriage. On the one hand, the campaign appears to build upon a longstanding history of the state attempting to control and manage indigenous women’s reproduction. Yet campaign workers also see themselves as trying to break with this past by working to recognize the rights of indigenous women. My project uses the “Protect Me from Pregnancy” campaign to investigate the contemporary struggle to adopt a more multicultural form of governance in Guatemala as well as the role that biopolitics plays in shaping indigenous-state relations.

As always, discussion will be fruitful and refreshments bountiful!

To receive the paper, or if you have any questions or require assistance to attend, email the workshop coordinator: Kieran Kelley (kierankelley@uchicago.edu)

To subscribe to our mailing list, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

This Week! David Ansari!

To open our workshop this year, Medicine and Its Objects presents:

Wednesday, October 4, 4:30-6:00pm, in Rosenwald 329

David Ansari (PhD candidate, Comparative Human Development)

please join us to discuss:

Activities of reading and writing: Navigating paperwork routines in culturally sensitive mental health services in Paris

with opening comments by

Talia Gordon (PhD Student, Comparative Human Development)

Graduate students in psychology and psychiatry embark upon training in culturally sensitive mental health services in France to learn to understand the cultural and migration histories of patients. While these students observe and participate in clinical consultations, they also spend a great deal of time engaged in seemingly mundane paperwork routines: taking notes, transcribing, reading patient files, and filling out forms. This chapter, part of a larger project that examines the learning experiences of these students, explores the functions of these routines. Students’ involvement in these routines supports the clinical work of these services by maintaining continuity between consultations and by assisting in admissions decisions; these routines guide students to understand the institutional frameworks of these services and focus students’ attention on specific details about patients. While they confer responsibility to students and present opportunities for student-to-student learning, these routines are also moments in which students question or critique institutional procedures. Their critiques suggest alternative ways to engage with patients’ histories.

Refreshments will be served, stimulating dialogue will be had!

To receive the paper, or if you have any questions or require assistance to attend, email the workshop coordinator: Kieran Kelley (kierankelley@uchicago.edu)

To subscribe to our mailing list, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

Francis McKay @ Medicine and Its Objects

Medicine and Its Objects presents…

WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 4:30-6:00 PM

HASKELL 101

join

FRANCIS MCKAY

 (Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Anthropology for MAPSS)

to discuss

TELEOLOGICAL AFFECTS:

MORAL ANTHROPOLOGY AND THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF FINAL ENDS

with opening comments by

Sanja Miklin
(PhD Student, Comparative Human Development)

 

 

Abstract: The anthropology of morality has, in recent years, highlighted a variety of sine quibus non (virtue, freedom, evil, etc.) that are conceptually needed if anthropologists are to better understand morality. I add to this list the concept of “telos” and offer a phenomenological theory for how it features in the affective life of the ethical subject. Though common in anthropology, “telos” tends to be defined primarily in terms of highly ranked cultural values that provide the normative content subjects aspire to in their ethical striving. This view, however, fails to capture the range of practices involved in making telic judgments. Specifically, it overlooks the fact that people aim not just at high-order cultural values, but also at “final ends,” and that in deliberating about final ends, criteria for evaluating the finality of values is necessary. Summarizing recent work on ethical reasoning in relation to ultimate values (e.g. Robbins and Lambek), and comparing that to my own research on American Buddhists, I argue that such criteria can be found in a range of biocultural emotional experiences I call “teleological affects,” the name I give to a subdomain of moral sentiments through which people appraise the means and ends of life.

 

 

Please email Camille (roussel@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper

 

For any questions and concerns about the workshop, or if you need assistance in order to attend, please contact Camille Roussel (roussel@uchicago.edu).

 

To subscribe to our listserv, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Paula Martin @ Medicine and Its Objects

Medicine and Its Objects presents…

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 4:30-6:00 PM

HASKELL 101

join

PAULA MARTIN

 (PhD Student, Comparative Human Development)

to discuss

CHANGING OUR BODIES AND

CHANGING OUR SELVES:

BODILY INTERVENTIONS, YOUTH FUTURES AND THE POSSIBILITIES OF GENDER

with opening comments by

Rebecca Ewert
(PhD Student, Sociology)

 

 

Abstract: Puberty suppression and other hormonal treatments for gender expansive youth are intensely anticipatory, or built upon the power of a future expected, imagined, and used to guide medical practice (Adams, Murphy, and Clarke 2009). For young people looking to access gender specific medical care, the anticipation of biological development at odds with their sense of gender identity amplifies the sense of urgency in, and the ethical stakes of, receiving biomedical treatments. This paper looks at emergent tensions between the increased utilization of biomedical services targeting gender and the simultaneous rise of ideological commitments to conceptualizing gender as detached from the body. Starting with the experiences of gender expansive youth participating in a social support group in the Midwest, I explore how ideas of gender, body, and self, structure how interventions emerge and are taken up presently, as well as imagined to impact individual and collective futures.

 

Please email Camille (roussel@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper

 

For any questions and concerns about the workshop, or if you need assistance in order to attend, please contact Camille Roussel (roussel@uchicago.edu).

 

To subscribe to our listserv, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Lisa Stevenson @ Medicine and Its Objects

Medicine and Its Objects presents…

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 4:30-6:00 PM

HASKELL 101

join

LISA STEVENSON

 (Associate Professor, Anthropology, McGill University)

to discuss

WHAT THERE IS TO FEAR

with opening comments by

CAMILLE ROUSSEL
(PhD Student, Comparative Human Development)

Abstract:

“What there is to fear” is how a taxi driver put it. That is, in different worlds “what there is to fear” shifts. It’s a dark definition of a world—a universe of possible/shared fears. For instance, in Ecuador’s Amazon, snakes are one thing there is to fear, and travelling by canoe to a community three hours down the Bobonaza river, I watched every stick to see if it would turn into a boa. But in metropolitan Quito, among Colombian refugees, other Colombians are what there is to fear: paramilitaries, decommissioned guerillas or extortionists that cross the border to exact a price—in blood, pain or money.  Yet, in therapeutic encounters several refugees I know were told they suffered from persecution anxiety and that the face of the killer they saw across the market stall was most probably just another Ecuadorean face. “Do you think I could forget the face of the man who killed my brother?” a Colombian refugee asks me accusingly. It’s as if the therapist is calling her world, a world, delineated by fear, into question. How does fear work to create and break human kinship–or what Sahlins has called the mutuality of being–and what I am calling a world? How do we understand the communicability of fear and its potential to create unliveable worlds, or worlds where there is very little mutuality of being?  How do we maintain any sense of the mutuality of being in the face of great fear?

The first part of this paper is an exploration of the way fear constitutes, or not, a world, depending on whether one’s fear are accepted as legitimate. The second part explores the use of theatrical images created collaboratively by Colombian refugees in an attempt to describe a common world.

 Please email Camille (roussel@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper.

For any questions and concerns about the workshop, or if you need assistance in order to attend, please contact Camille Roussel (roussel@uchicago.edu).

To subscribe to our listserv, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Last Winter Quarter Workshop

Medicine and Its Objects presents…

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 4:30-6:00 PM

ROSENWALD 329

join

MEGAN CROWLEY-MATOKA

 (Associate Professor, Medical Education/Anthropology, Northwestern University)

to discuss

THE TRAFFIC IN PAIN:

OPIOIDS, EPIDEMICS, AND THE U.S. RESURGENCE OF THE URINE DRUG SCREEN

with opening comments by

ADAM BAIM
(MD/PhD Candidate, CHSS/Pritzker School of Medicine)

 

 

Abstract:

Both chronic pain and opioid use have been named crises of epidemic proportion in the contemporary U.S., embodying competing claims about pain as a tragically urgent site of both under and over treatment.  Patient activists, newly-professionalized pain specialists, public health officials, and drug enforcement agents – among others – all wade into the fray, marshaling powerful statistics and heart-breaking stories to claim the moral and political high ground on either side of these debates.  Looming increasingly large in this contentious landscape are reports of rising numbers of overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers, statistics now wielded as a clarion call for change in pain management practice and public policy. One rapid response to that call has been a dramatically stepped-up reliance on a time-worn, rather humble form of surveillance: the urine drug screen (UDS).  This paper seeks to work outward from the embodied experience of a chronic pain patient as he lives this contemporary moment of clinical controversy and the reinvigorated role of the UDS.  Doing so serves an exploratory effort at beginning to map out some of the material and affective exchanges by which pain is rendered simultaneously problematic and profoundly productive as it is put into politically-charged and highly-profitable circulation.

 

 

Please email Camille (roussel@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper

 

For any questions and concerns about the workshop, or if you need assistance in order to attend, please contact Camille Roussel (roussel@uchicago.edu).

 

To subscribe to our listserv, visit: https://lists.uchicago.edu/web/subscribe/medicineanditsobjects

 

We look forward to seeing you soon!