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AnthroTox: Antropology of Toxicity

Human-made toxic threats have become a central theme in Social Anthropology. At SAI, we approach toxicity from various perspectives to rethink our ways of knowing, writing, and doing anthropology.

Waste from coal mining in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Foto: Paul Wenzel Geissler

Toxicity: Kenyan farmer spraying insecticides against Fall Army Worm (Photo: Miriam Waltz, ANTHUSIA project)

The focus on human-made toxic threats reflects wider societal concerns with environmental pollution; it also recombines fundamental anthropological concerns: from ethics and political economy to landscape and nature, food and consumption to science and technology, kinship and gender to history and temporality - to name a few. 

At the Department of Social Anthropology, we approach toxicity from perspectives as diverse as conservation and political ecology, environmental history and postcolonial Science and Technology Studies (STS), inter-species ethnography and studies of resource extraction and industrial agriculture. Our PhD students, including those of the AnthroTox convergence environment, work on origins, distribution, effects, monitoring and regulation of toxic substances, globally.

Our reading group brings together different regional and theoretical orientations, and engages anthropology with diverse approaches to toxicity - including history and STS, environmental humanities and political ecology, decolonial theory and toxicology itself. We meet monthly to discuss selected readings presented by the participants, and to share our own work and that of invited speakers. 

If you would like to join the group, please contact Camelia Dewan or Wenzel Geissler

Two toxicologists (man and woman) working with waste in the woods Tanzania. Photo: Paul Wenzel Geissler
Toxicologists of the AnthroTox project working in Tanzania. Photo: Paul Wenzel Geissler


Published May 14, 2019 3:08 PM - Last modified Jan. 12, 2022 7:42 PM