Books

Christopher Kelty’s The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories

The Participant: A Century of Participation in Four Stories

Christopher M. Kelty

University of Chicago Press, 2020. 344 pages.

A book about participation? Chris Kelty’s delightful new book begins by giving voice to his audience’s likely incredulity. Mimicking the standard response to the project, he launches with the question, “Participation in what?” In everything and nothing, of course. He notes …

Lectures

Epistemic and Temporal Disjunctions: (Re)Mapping “Suicide Risk” Epigenetics Through Birth Cohorts

The McGill Group for Suicide Studies (MGSS) has garnered significant attention for its epigenetic models of suicide risk. These models suggest that early life adversity may set people on pathways of neurobiological vulnerability and, ultimately, suicide risk, which are correlated with distinctive epigenetic traits. While the core of this epigenetic and neuroscientific research is carried out on the donated brains …

Lectures

Human Placenta, Birth Cohorts, and the Production of Epigenetic Knowledge

Precious Material

Over the past decade, the Canadian university-based Epigenetics Lab has become increasingly central to the production of knowledge about human health and development.[1] During my first visit there, Daniel, one of three technicians in the lab, is visibly stressed. He apologizes for not being more relaxed. He has been up all night worried about a shipment of …

Lectures

Confronting constructs with cataclysms in neuroepigenetics

I went to a Science and Technology Studies (STS) conference in Melbourne recently and listened to a panel of social scientists share their work about psychological disorders. There was no doubt I had stakes in being there; I study embodiment and trauma and so I knew what I was hoping to hear. I sat, in anticipation, waiting to hear about …

Books

Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life

Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life.

Ruha Benjamin, Ed.

Duke University Press, 2019. 416 pages.

“How might we craft a justice-oriented approach to technoscience?” asks Ruha Benjamin in the introduction to Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (11). This question is at the core of the book’s project, knitting together …

Lectures

Staging Seizure: The Chronic Contingency of Epilepsy Diagnosis

Epilepsy is a chronic illness and disability characterized by recurrent, unpredictable seizures. Epileptic seizures are transient events during which people lose control over all or parts of body-mind function. This can result in the rhythmic twisting of a person’s wrist, sudden inexplicable feelings of joy, or involuntary spasms of the whole body. Since antiquity, epilepsy has occupied healers, philosophers, physicians, …