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, …

Lectures

homunculus Revolts: Re-Figuring the Neurological Subject

Figuring a Grotesque Norm

 1954 Homunculus: Penfield Archives, Osler Library of the History of Medicine
 This hand drawn illustration rendered in black ink shows two mirror image outlines of cross sections of the cerebral cortex comprised of segmented lines each of which is labeled with the part of the body to which that part of the brain corresponds. Curving around the surface of each outline are the sensory (on the left) and motor (on the right) homunculi, distorted nude human figures with elongated feet, massive hands, massive faces with huge lips and mouth separated from their bodies, and various parts of the alimentary system represented below the chin. The sensory homunculus also has a scrotum and uncircumcised penis beneath its feet. The heads of each seem to have shorn hair, and musculature and features coded as male. 1954 Homunculus: Penfield Archives, Osler Library of the History of Medicine
This hand drawn illustration rendered in black ink shows two mirror image outlines of cross sections of the cerebral cortex comprised of segmented lines each of which is labeled with the part of the body to which that part of the brain corresponds. Curving around
Lectures

How do you do interdisciplinarity?

The AusSTS Interdisciplinary workshop took place at Deakin University, in Melbourne, Australia from the 3rd to the 5th of July 2019.

The workshop quite literally started with a confession of the feeling of insecurity that surfaces when you step into an interdisciplinary setting. Cordelia Fine, opening Keynote of the 3-day workshop, began her lecture ‘50 Shades of Grey …