This year’s second overseas conference was held in Sydney at a new and fancy conference centre in Darling Harbour. With some of my Japanese colleagues, we have created a digital essay on the “Anthropologies of Science and Technology in Japan,” which was part of the new exhibition called STS Across Borders. The best for the genre is probably “experimental.” Not only we, even the organizers did not know how it was going to be. It was fun though and we hope to continue tinkering with this text-like-archive-of-genealogies.
This year I go to two international conferences during the summer. Both conferences are in the southern hemisphere, so they’re a sort of escape from the summer heat in Japan. In July, I organized a session at the IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) conference in Florianópolis, Brasil with two colleagues from Japan and Italy. It is a follow-up of the workshop we held in Kyoto University this February with many new presenters and topics, but still mostly an attempt to explore posthuman ways of life and especially the role of pharmaceuticals in shaping it.
Vital Experiments: Living (and Dying) with Pharmaceuticals after the Human (IUAES 2018, Florianópolis)
Time: July 17 2018, 10:00-15:30
Place: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)
Organisers: Akinori Hamada, Gergely Mohácsi and Pino Schirripa
Participants: Lauren Murillo Predebon, Takeshi Matsushima, Junko Iida, Yosuke Shimazono, Akinori Hamada, Pino Schirripa and Gergely Mohácsi
This workshop is part of a collaborative research project on the pharmaceutical entanglements of life and its anthropological exploration. Participants will provide their own accounts on this broad topic from herbal medicines in Ghana and India to polypharmacy in Taiwan, and more. We hope to discuss how drugs, pills, herbs and vaccines are instrumental in the shaping of what has come to be called ‘experimental societies’ and how these changes situate many around the world in an extended space between bench and bedside.
VITAL EXPERIMENTS: Living (and Dying) with Pharmaceuticals after the Human
Time: February 24-25, 2018
Place: Kyoto University, Inamori Hall, Medium Conference Room
Organiser: Mohácsi Gergely, Hamada Akinori, Nishi Makoto
We organised this colloquium with my colleague at Osaka University Kimura Yumi to finally bring in nonhumans into the ongoing conversations about kyosei. Might be too early (or too late?), but he work of Scott Simon from Ottawa University and Kosaka Yasuyuki from Kyoto University will for sure have many interesting interferences and hopefully some of our anthropocentric friends will bring something home from the event.
MULTISPECIES MEETS KYOSEI: Plants, Birds and People
Time: Thursday, January 25, 2018, 17:00-19:00
Place: Osaka University, School of Human Sciences, Learning Commons Room
Organiser: Mohácsi Gergely, Kimura Yumi
First attempt with materials from Vietnam…
Session at the 2015 IUAES Inter-Congress @ Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
Time: Wednesday, July 15, 2015: 15:15 – 16:45
Place: Thammasat University, The Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Room 221
ABSTRACT: Medical sciences, technologies and policies operate on different qualitative and quantitative scales. To be able to claim, for example, that a virus is a global health concern requires disjunction, commensuration and boundary making on multiple levels and in multiple locations. How such diverse objects hang together, then, is an open ethnographic question that calls for open anthropological answers. Through their focus on ‘scaling,’ the papers of this panel will attend to the mediation between different ontological realms and will argue that such mediation itself is generative of scale. Scientific, political and cultural claims about size, volume, difference and value emerge through their connections with daily practices of scaling, such as culturing cells in a biology lab, comparing medicinal herbs, or measuring a child’s growth. Scale-making in this sense plays a central role in understanding the dynamic interplay and crossover between laboratory, clinical and public health settings. The central questions that orientate this panel are: How do we as researchers engage simultaneously with different qualitative and quantitative scales? and what boundaries and concepts are drawn up or contested in doing so? Building on recent work in anthropology and science studies, we also hope to bring new insights to the discussion about ontological multiplicity. The ethnographically grounded accounts here point to the coexistence of different realities—indigenous, embodied, scientific, etc.—and the tensions between them by showing how multiplicity becomes a matter of scaling in the day-to-day practices of medical innovation and intervention from the microscopic to the global. Some papers will highlight how different medical disciplines and conceptual boundaries are realised and contested; others will trace the work of translation across cells, bodies and populations. This attention to the devices and material practices of scaling has the potential to further problematise the division between macro and micro levels of analysis in social research and to offer alternative perspectives to seemingly irresistible categories of globalisation, community, society and nature, among others. Such categories are understood to be no longer singular, but conceptualised and enacted in multiple ways. Furthermore, they are located on continuums rather than as discrete categories.
Posthumanist Explorations between Anthropology and Science Studies
Workshop and International Symposium at Kyoto University