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.
Toxicity: Kenyan farmer spraying insecticides against Fall Army Worm (Photo Miriam Waltz)
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.