Events

Webinar– 15 & 16 June 2021
Microbes and Microbiology: towards new stories?

Registration is free
To register please contact: microbes.microbiology@gmail.com by June 14 2021

While a new virus halts activities at a global level and bacteria resistant to antibiotics raise concerns among international health authorities, academic studies on microbiology have multiplied in the last ten years and shed light on the meanings of these arising questions. What are the different ways in which humanities describe microbiology, this multifaceted and complex object that, for more than a century, has given rise to various investigations, whether in the context of national histories, institutional studies, or scientific controversies? This webinar proposes to make an inventory of contemporary research in humanities on microbiology and to understand how this research has been transformed by the various “turns” in social sciences over the last decades – global turn, imperial turn, material turn, animal turn, to name but few. Beyond simple academic labels, what are, in concrete terms, the new questions, new objects, new methods, and approaches currently shaping our understanding of the emergence of the science of microbes, and of the technical and social changes it has spawned until the present day?

Day 1 – 15 June 2021
(All times are in Central European Summer Time – UTC+02:00)

Introduction15h00-15h15

Matheus Duarte (University of St Andrews)
Mathilde Gallay-Keller (Doctorante, CNRS, EHESS, LAS, PALOC)

Panel 1. Pandemics and new centers of microbiology 15h15-16h50

Chair: Matheus Duarte (University of St Andrews)

Frédéric Vagneron (Université de Strasbourg, DHVS)
Des virus en quête de maladie. Quelques réflexions à partir des cas de la grippe et de la myxomatose 

Shiori Nosaka (Doctorante, EHESS, Cermes3)
Inventer à la frontière des empires : recherches et pratiques des vaccins antipesteux en Asie au début du XXe siècle

Juan Pablo Zabala & Nicolás Facundo Rojas (CONICET)
Here comes the bubonic plague! Health policies and scientific knowledge production in Buenos Aires, 1899-1930

Break (10 minutes)

Panel 2. Shared landscapes between humans and microbes 17h00-18h30

Chair: Christos Lynteris (University of St Andrews)

Elise Tancoigne (Université de Lausanne)
Relocalizing microbes. Food microbiology and the making of autochthonous dairy starter cultures

Mayra Bertussi (Universidade de Campinas)
Les « nouveaux » garants du terroir : l’usage de l’écologie microbienne dans la reconnaissance de la qualité des fromages

Hannah Landecker (UCLA) & Louis-Patrick Haraoui (Université de Sherbrooke)
Antibiotic Resistant Landscapes: How Microbes and Mobile Genetic Elements Make Maps of Human Society

Break (10 minutes)

Keynote Address18h40-19h40

Aro Velmet (University of Southern California)

Pasteur’s Empire: Scale and Technology in the Politics of Colonial Tuberculosis

Day 2 – 16 June 2021

Panel 1. Working with microbes beyond institutional spaces10h00-12h00

Chair : Mathilde Gallay-Keller (Doctorante, CNRS, EHESS, LAS, PALOC)

Alice Doublier (CNRS, CCJ-Chine, Corée, Japon)
Des microbes qui font rêver. Petites (et grandes) histoires de brasseurs dans le Japon contemporain 

Juliette Salme (Doctorante, Université de Liège, LASC, IRSS)
Merveilleux mycélium : collaborations à tâtons entre humains et champignons au sein de laboratoires belges de biologie do-it-yourself

Mary Picone (CNRS/EHESS-CCJ-Chine, Corée, Japon)
Japanese Scientists and the Performance of Funerary Rites for Microbes

Guillaume Bagnolini (Université Paris-Est Marne-la-vallée, LISIS)
Pratiques et discours de la microbiologie de garage

Lunchtime

Panel 2. Promises and limits of microbiology and its alternatives 14h00-16h00

Chair: Frédéric Keck (CNRS, Collège de France, EHESS)

Kylian Godde (Doctorant, EHESS, Cermes3)
L’antibiorésistance comme objet-frontière : une analyse des circulations entre microbiologie et clinique

Victoria Lee (Ohio University, Institut d’études avancées de Paris)
Fermentation Science as Coevolutionary History

Élise Demeulenaere (CNRS, Centre Alexandre Koyré) & Mathilde Lagrola (Doctorante, AgroParisTech, SENSE, Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier 3)
Du « catalogue de germes » aux équilibres microbiens. Une communauté de connaissances et de pratiques autour du maintien de la typicité des fromages de terroir

Thomas Bonnin (Rattaché au projet ANR « Epancopie », Université de Clermont-Ferrand)
Phagothérapie : obstacles et enjeux autour de « virus guérisseurs »

Break (10 minutes)

Conclusion16h10-16 :30

Mathilde Gallay-Keller (Doctorante, CNRS, EHESS, LAS, PALOC)
Matheus Duarte (University of St Andrews)

Organization
Matheus Alves Duarte da Silva, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of St Andrews
Mathilde Gallay-Keller, doctorante en anthropologie, CNRS, EHESS, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale & Laboratoire PALOC


ASA2021 Lab | Intersections of Medical Humanities & Animal Studies: Methodological and Interdisciplinary Dialogues and Challenges – 31 March & 1 April 2021 

 

Held at ASA2021, the Annual Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK & Commonwealth #ASAResponsibility and convened by the Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis project, this lab will bring together scholars from across disciplines to share and discuss methodological and interdisciplinary questions, challenges and collaboration pathways at the intersection of the Medical Humanities and Animal Studies. Each session will focus on a theme that will allow participants to discuss in free-format questions and challenges in their respective research field with the aim of sharing experiences and methodological tools, as well as ideas of expanding and unsettling interdisciplinary collaboration.

Convenors:

Matheus Alves Duarte da Silva (St Andrews)

Oliver French (St Andrews)

Christos Lynteris (St Andrews)

Jules Skotnes-Brown (St Andrews)

Programme

31 March 2021 14:15-15:45 (BST) | Session 1: Epidemiology

Lukas Engelmann (University of Edinburgh)

Genese Sodikoff (University of Rutgers)

Ann H. Kelly (King’s College, London)

Nükhet Varlik (University of Rutgers)

Jacob Steere-Williams (College of Charleston)

Respondent: David Napier (UCL)

31 March 2021 16:30-18:00 (BST) | Session 2: Zoonosis

Tamara Giles-Vernick (Institut Pasteur)

Sarah Green (University of Helsinki)

Frédéric Keck (CNRS-Collège de France-EHESS)

Krish Seetah (Stanford University)

Susan Jones (University of Minnesota)

Respondent: Lisa Boden (University of Edinburgh)

1 April 2021 09:00-10:30 (BST) | Session 3: Environment & Animals

Liana Chua (Brunel University London)

Nayanika Mathur (University of Oxford)

Maurits Meerwijk (Hong Kong University)

Karen Sayer (Leeds Trinity University)

Respondent: Janet Cox-Singh (St Andrews)

Registration: https://theasa.org/conferences/asa2021/registration

 

WEBINAR | Nonhuman Heroes and Villains: A Cross Project Conversation – 4 March 2021 15:00-16:30 (GMT)/ 16:00-17:30 (CET)

Webinar Convened by: The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis (University St Andrews), Refiguring Conservation in/for “the Anthropocene”: the Global Lives of the Orangutan (Brunel University London) & Veterinarization of Europe? Hunting for Wild Boar Futures in the Time of African Swine fever (Czech Academy of Sciences)

Tales of heroism, villainy, accolades and blame have long been filled with nonhuman entities, ranging from plants to ‘unloved’ critters (Rose & van Dooren 2011). In this cross-project webinar, members of The Global Lives of the Orangutan, The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis, Veterinarization of Europe? Hunting for Wild Boar Futures in the Time of African Swine Fever get together to discuss the more-than-human discourses, politics and ontologies of which some nonhuman ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ emerge and make their presence felt. Join us for short interventions on wolves, pigs, rats, oil palms and orangutans, followed by questions and a general discussion. All welcome!

Registration for this event is now closed

Programme:

This webinar will involve short (c. 5-7 minute) interventions from each presenters, which are grouped into three themed panels. These will then be followed by an open discussion and Q&A.

Panel 1: Productions

Feeding Extinction: Navigating the metonyms and misanthropy of palm oil boycotts| Hannah Fair (Global Lives of the Orangutan project, Brunel University London)

Economic Zoology: A science of animal friends and foes, 1880s-1930s | Jules Skotnes-Brown (Global War Against the Rat project, University of St Andrews)

Becoming Feral: A Tale of Two Pigs | Paul G. Keil (Hunting the Unruly Pigs of the New Wild project & Veterinarization of Europe project, The Czech Academy of Sciences)

Panel 2: Evaluations

Not All Wolves Are Equal: Selective villainization among species populations | Erica von Essen (Veterinarization of Europe project, The Czech Academy of Sciences)

Good and Bad Primates| Paul H. Thung (POKOK, Global Lives of the Orangutan project associate)

Panel 3: Politics

Palm Oil – The Villain as Hero | Viola Schreer (Global Lives of the Orangutan project, Brunel University London)

Symbol of Modernity or Proof of Archaism? The ambiguity and political uses of rat-catching in Brazil (1900-1914) | Matheus Alves Duarte da Silva (Global War Against the Rat project, University of St Andrews)

General discussion and Q&A

Abstracts:

Symbol of Modernity or Proof of Archaism? The ambiguity and political uses of rat-catching in Brazil (1900-1914) | Matheus Alves Duarte da Silva (Global War Against the Rat project, University of St Andrews)
The presentation will focus on the political uses of rat-catching in Brazil, showing the ambiguities of both the rat and Brazilian society. To the hygienists, rat-catching was a rational model to face plague, and a national success; to the press and popular sources, it was the symbol of governmental failures that ended up creating a “rat” market.

Not All Wolves Are Equal: Selective villainization among species populations | Erica von Essen (Veterinarization of Europe project, The Czech Academy of Sciences)
Just as Nils Christie presented criteria for the ‘ideal victim’ in criminology, so too we may conceptualize the wolf’s culturally attributed bloodthirst, cowardice, cruelty in the face of its prey and transient vagabond nature across landscape as an ‘ideal villain’. In this talk, I consider how wolf skeptics nowadays selectively villainize individual wolves rather than the species. Informing new insights onto scholarship on ‘animals out of place’ with perspectives from environmental communication, I discuss how this selective villanization represents an attractive discursive strategy for wolf skeptic hunters and farmers. That is, they are able to endorse a hypothetical ‘right to exist’ for wolves as a species, but impose so many genetic, morphological, spatial, and behavioral parameters guiding its actual allowable conduct in practice that no actual wolves ever approximate the lofty standards set by its species norm. I enquire about the origins of this strategy, the extent to which it is a strategy or genuine conviction.

Feeding Extinction: Navigating the metonyms and misanthropy of palm oil boycotts| Hannah Fair (Global Lives of the Orangutan project, Brunel University London)
Among UK-based orangutan conservation supporters palm oil consumption boycotts are widespread, due to the ecological impacts of oil palm cultivation on orangutan habitat. Yet these boycotts are largely at odds with the stances of orangutan charities. Drawing on interviews with orangutan supporters, I explore why some Global North consumers are so consumed by palm oil. Palm oil is viewed by orangutan supporters as insidious, invasive and cheap and forces a bodily complicity with orangutan suffering. It is mobilized as a metonym for human greed and capitalist destruction, while the figure of the orangutan is made to stand in for the precarity of nonhuman life. This metonymic relationship mirrors broader Anthropocenic framings of Human-Nature relations, which emphasize Humanity as a universal actor. Yet the practices of ‘species guilt’ associated with these framings largely mitigate against a decolonizing model of conservation, as they have the potential to deny agency to workers and villagers enmeshed within the oil palm economy.

Becoming Feral: A Tale of Two Pigs  | Paul G. Keil (Hunting the Unruly Pigs of the New Wild project & Veterinarization of Europe project, The Czech Academy of Sciences)
                           

In Australia, free-roaming pigs are constructed as villainous through the term “feral.” This presentation will explore the historical events through which pigs were made feral, and how this branding attempts to unmake this adaptable animal’s (almost heroic) capacity to overcome categorical divides and forge new relations and identities.

Good and Bad Primates| Paul H. Thung (Project on the Keys to Understanding Orangutan Killing, honorary Global Lives of the Orangutan project associate)
In rural Borneo, the legitimacy of wildlife protection is measured in part by the moral character of the specific species. Well-mannered animals are deemed more deserving of protection than mischievous ones. While the character of orangutans is ambiguous and judged varyingly, there is consensus about two other primate species. In this presentation I contrast the local villain status of the Beruk (pig-tailed macaque) with the hero status of the Kelempiau (gibbon). By examining these two extremes, I suggest that judgements of the moral character of a species are based not just in experience of human-wildlife conflict or myths, but also in direct observation of behaviour, stories of human-primate encounters, and everyday discourse.

Palm Oil – The Villain as Hero | Viola Schreer (Global Lives of the Orangutan project, Brunel University London)
This provocation provides a counter-image to the portrayal of palm oil as ecological villain. While Anthropocenic discourses and knowledge condemn palm oil development for deforestation, biodiversity loss, and carbon emissions, these truth-claims are challenged by alternate scientific knowledge that downplays the ecological costs of palm oil development in Indonesia. Backed by this alternative expertise, I show how palm oil industry-affiliated actors celebrate palm oil not only as national hero (pahlawan bangsa) contributing to foreign currency earnings, economic development, poverty alleviation, and national integrity, but even create an image of palm oil as environmental hero.

Economic Zoology: A science of animal friends and foes, 1880s-1930s | Jules Skotnes-Brown (Global War Against the Rat project, University of St Andrews)                                                       This talk examines how economic zoologists – scientists who calculated the utility or harmfulness of wildlife to commerce and public health – shaped conceptions of animals as heroes or villains. Located initially in the USA, and later across the globe, these scientists created economic taxonomies of animal life, which ultimately shaped conservation and pest control in southern Africa.

WEBINAR | COVID-19 as a Zoonotic Disease – July 23 2020 14:00-16:00

A roundtable at gloknos in collaboration with The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis project (University of St Andrews)

The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a zoonotic virus, SARS-CoV-2; in other words, a virus which has spread from animals to humans. This roundtable discusses the way in which different animals and forms of human-animal contact have come to be understood and framed in the context of the pandemic. In which ways does the pandemic confirm, trouble or scientific anticipations of zoonotic emergence? To what extent do framings of COVID-19 as a zoonotic disease reflect broader anxieties about human interaction with the environment? Why have ‘wet markets’ become the main loci of blame for zoonotic emergence? And how can we develop an approach to the zoonotic aspect of the disease that is grounded in both disease ecology and ethnographic understandings of animal-human interaction?

http://gloknos.ac.uk/research/activities/online-events/covid-zoonosis

http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/29262

You can watch the recorded webinar via gloknos’s YouTube channel

Convenor:
Christos Lynteris (St Andrews)

Speakers:
Lyle Fearnley (Singapore University of Technology and Design)
Tamara Giles-Vernick (Institut Pasteur/Sonar-Global)
Frédéric Keck (CNRS/EHESS)
James Wood (Cambridge)