Lectures

Gloves, embryos, and DDT: thinking with surfaces on toxicity in South Africa

In the early 1980s, researchers at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa were confounded by the persistent failure of their experimental mice embryos. The researchers had hoped to develop the first successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) programme in Africa. Yet, attempt after attempt, the mice embryos died. One researcher recounted to me later that he reviewed other protocols and …

FeaturesLectures

Toxic Disavowal

Figure 1. “Residents want out of industrial ghetto.” Photo by Lloyd Fox for the Baltimore Sun, 1998.

In April 1998, Jeanette succumbed to terminal cancer. She was only 56. Her obituary described her as a “high-energy grandmother with short, spiky hair” and a committed “environmental activist.”[1] Jeanette died fighting for a buyout of her home on Wagner’s Point, a …

Lectures

Toxicology and the chemistry of cohort kinship

Birth cohort studies are characterized as longitudinal investigations of research subjects with at least one common characteristic, usually being born in the same time and place. Such studies are increasingly common around the world and across a number of disciplines (Gibbon and Pentecost 2019), including toxicology. The small group of approximately twenty reproductive and developmental toxicologists I researched while conducting …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum: Daniel Renfrew’s Life Without Lead: Contamination, Crisis, and Hope in Uruguay

Introduction

Daniel Renfrew’s Life Without Lead: Contamination, Crisis, and Hope in Uruguay (2018) is a masterful undertaking on the anthropology of disaster and its everydayness. An ethnographic portrayal that is prismatic in its attention, the book combines numerous elements––place, civic performance, history, political economy––to bear on the lead poisoning epidemic in Montevideo, Uruguay at the turn of the 21st

Features

Are We All Flint?

[This article originally appeared in Limn, Issue No. 7, “Public Infrastructures / Infrastructural Publics”.]

flinthouse1brokenpaintsummer2015-460x259

For the past several decades, Flint, Michigan, has staggered under waves of deindustrialization, disinvestment, and abandonment that have left the city depopulated, its built environment in shambles, and its remaining residents reeling from high unemployment and crime rates, a decimated tax base, and dwindling municipal …