PhD midway seminar: Hanne Tresselt

Hanne C. Tresselt is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK). This seminar marks her midway evaluation.

Hanne C. Tresselt is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK). This seminar marks her midway evaluation.

About the project:

With the covid-19 pandemic, the immune system re-emerged in the public consciousness in all its medical, political, and social complexity. The many versions of the immune system were enacted through lockdowns, rules, and regulations, and every version was negotiating its space in the public discourse. Managing the pandemic was tightly connected to managing the immune system, making it clear that the immune system is a key site where the politics of life is negotiated and established.

In the wake of the pandemic, new vaccine technology, such as mRNA and DNA vaccines, was used for the first time on a global scale as a preventative measure, however not without controversy. While opponents question the safety of the technology and the speedy development, the life sciences describe them as safer, tailormade, and faster to produce, and therefore consider them more suitable to combat pandemics. Basic research on and knowledge about the immune system is the foundation of this vaccine development. How the immune system is understood, constructed and narrated in the life sciences thus carry political and societal implications.

This project explores how the immune system is made materially and metaphorically in contemporary immunological research, focusing on the concrete practices in the laboratory and in communication with lay publics. Firstly, it investigates how the human immune system as a scientific object is constructed through the production and translation of multiple animal immune systems. Secondly, it explores how this particular human immune system is reproduced and established in a societal context. The objective is to shed light on the science-society, human-animal, material-metaphorical entanglements of the immune system, and how scientific practices take part in the efforts of managing the immune system in politics and science.

Thesis supervisors:

Researcher Tone Druglitrø (TIK, UiO) – Main supervisor

Professor Gail Davies (University of Exeter) – Co-supervisor


Researcher Kristian Bjørkdahl (SUM, UiO)

Associate Professor Ana Delgado (TIK, UiO)

About Hanne Tresselt

Hanne Tresselt is a PhD candidate at the TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo.

How to participate

The seminar is open to everyone. The manuscript is available upon request. Please send the request to Hanne Tresselt (


Publisert 27. juni 2022 13:17 - Sist endret 27. juni 2022 14:58