TIK9012 – The more-than-human condition: Valuations and care in immunology, biomedicine and politics
The Covid-19 pandemic has displayed the close and vulnerable relationships between human and nonhuman bodies and immune systems. Making links and drawing boundaries between human and animal bodies, human and animal health, have always been crucial in establishing a politics of life. Science and politics are key locations where human and animal health are aligned, separated, cared for and valued.
This PhD course will explore, discuss, and experiment with different methods and analytical frameworks for investigating the ‘more-than-human’ condition. ‘More-than-human’ encounters take many forms and call for different conceptual and empirical approaches. Where and to which actors, objects, practices, and procedures do we go to study valuations and care practices in science, health, and politics?
The course will focus on different forms of doing ethnography, archive studies and document analysis, and how to combine interdisciplinary methods and work. Further, the course will engage with studying the relationship between science and politics. This involves engaging with cutting-edge theories and methods in science and technology studies (STS), such as care studies and valuation studies. To do this, the course brings together an international team of scholars with a deep knowledge of the field. Confirmed lecturers are Emily Martin, author of Flexible Bodies (1994), Ed Cohen, author of A Body Worth Defending (2009), Martina Schlünder, editor of and contributor to Boxes: A Field Guide (2020) and an expert on the work of immunologist Ludwig Fleck. The lecturers also include Mette Nordahl Svendsen, author of Near Human (2022), and Mie Seest Dam, expert in multispecies ethnography in and across lab and clinic. Together with the course organizers, Kristin Asdal and Tone Druglitrø, who will contribute with perspectives from their work on biopolitics, care and valuations (e.g. Humans, Animals and Biopolitics: The more-than-human condition, 2016), the lecturers will introduce you to their different ways of working. The course will also include a panel session with the biologist Kjetill S.Jakobsen and immunologist Shou-Wang Qiao from the convergence environment Comparative immunology of fish and humans (COMPARE, UiO Life Science).