One day off from the summer school with RESPECT students at UofT, I join to this rather provocatively-sounding roundtable on more-than-human academic worlds. I’ll probably talk about kyōsei and the difficulties and pleasures of bringing in pharmaceuticals and plants to a human sciences curriculum..
More-than-human moves: of everyday entanglements and the Academy
Time: Thursday, May 3, 2017, 16:00-17:30
Place: University of Ottawa, MNT 202 (IUAES Conference)
Organiser: Paul Hansen (Hokkaido University)
Participants: Kelly Abrams (University of Western Ontario), Andrea De Antoni (Ritsumeikan University), Hiroaki Kawamura (University of Findlay), Gergely Mohácsi (Osaka University), Melanie Rock (University of Calgary), Scott Simon (University of Ottawa), Alan Smart (University of Calgary)
Abstract: Within the humanities and social sciences a nonhuman or more-than-human approach to writing and research has become a prominent genre. This is an epistemological move that underscores humans are ever-entangled with nonhuman animals, technologies, the environment and spiritual entities. Anthropologists, perhaps due to the centrality of anthropos in the discipline, were slow to respond to broader moves to decentre the human subject. However, the publication of the special issue The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography in the journal Cultural Anthropology in 2010 prompted a growing number of anthropologists to focus on more-than-human conceptualizations as valuable in understanding and describing everyday interactions. Nevertheless, movement towards such an approach in anthropology is often resisted by the power structures of universities where more quantitative and rigid regimes of classification—nature/culture or human/animal for example—remain. This round table discussion focuses on how the nonhuman turn informs the work of participants and how they maneuver within the academy. Put concretely, why and how is the nonhuman turn prominent in your work and what are the implications of more-than-human research for methods and practices?
After the RESPECT summer school has finished, I’ll stay in Toronto for a couple of days more for this international workshop held jointly by UofT and Osaka University. The line-up is really exciting. I wonder how all these ideas around kyōsei resonate with the work done to infrastructure during the past couple of years by my colleagues and friends in Osaka. My talk, “Gardening the Future: On the cultivation of herbal medicines and planetary health” will deal with the multispecies entanglements of plants and humans through a comparison of two different experimental sites of herbal medications in Nara, Japan and Hanoi, Vietnam.
Visible & Invisible: An Open Workshop on Infrastructure & Politics of Cohabitation (University of Toronto)
Time: Monday, May 8, 2017, 9:30-16:30
Place: University of Toronto, Anthropology Building, AP 246
Organisers: Keiichi Omura, Shiho Satsuka, Bronwyn Frey, Brenton Buchanan & Johanna Pokorny
Participants: Michelle Murphy x Gergely Mohacsi; Andrea Muehlebach x Moe Nakazora; Bonnie McElhinny x Goro Yamazaki; Joshua Barker x Sho Morishita; with Atsuro Morita & Grant Otsuki
The last Kyosei Studies Colloquium this semester will be some kind of conversation between anthropologists from Japan and philosophers from France on the legacy of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s work. A bit over-ambitiously, I promised to give a paper titled “From a metabolic point of view: six notes on eating (folding) together.” Now, I’m trying to fold diabetes and cannibalism together, and see what happens…
International Symposium on Viveiros de Castro, Metaphysics and Anthropology
Time: Friday, March 3, 2017, 13:00-19:00
Place: Osaka University, School of Human Sciences, East Wing, Room 207.
Organiser: Tatsuya Higaki
Fb event: https://www.facebook.com/events/981750475290179/
On the way back to Hungary, I’ll stop over in Amsterdam to give a paper at this interesting workshop. The title of my paper is: “Worlding with the Metabolism: Or how to ‘put’ Japanese medications into Hungarian bodies?” I’m working on the same material for a Japanese publication and will re-visit some of the sites back in Hungary, so it is a really special occasion. And meeting with old friends, of course…
Organic Metaphors in Technoscience
Time: Friday, September 16, 2016, 14:00-17:30
Place: University of Amsterdam, Department of Anthropology, B building, Room B5.12
Organisers: Atsuro Morita, Liv Nyland Krause and Wakana Suzuki
ABSTRACT: Recent discourses about innovation and management are full of organic metaphors. From innovation ecosystems to business incubation to digital ecology, terms from biological and ecological sciences are now widely used to denote practices and organizational processes of business and technoscience. This workshop aims to shed light on this trans-boundary displacement of organic notions by focusing on the intermingling of the semiotic and the material in technoscience. Organic metaphors of social processes have long history that stretches back to the early social organism theory in the 19th century and beyond. Anthropology has also paid attention to metaphors of body and organism in wide-ranging settings. This workshop tries to extend such classic interests further by focusing on material practices of making analogies between processes of life and other domains. From robotics and industrial district, many of recent organic metaphors aim not only to understand social processes by organic metaphors but also to create artifacts and social organizations functions like organisms. In other words, in these practices metaphors of life are taking material forms. By focusing on this performativity of such analogies, the papers of the workshop explore emerging intermingling of the mechanical and the organic, the imaginary and the material, and institutions and ecologies.
An STS take on my previous fieldwork in Hungary…
◼︎ 日時：2015年10月10日（土）、15:45 – 17:45
Another (and still preliminary) paper on my new material from Vietnam…
Time: Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Place: Tsukuba International Congress Center, 3F Conference Room 304
ABSTRACT: How can we assess the ways in which the humans (concerned persons, bystanders, experts, activists, administrators, and politicians) conceptualize the problems of the world? With what apparatuses – words, equipments, machines, bodies, conventions, social organizations, cultural values, symbiotic relations with living things and non-living things – do we conceive of our surrounding world and its difficult situations? (Is our surrounding world singular or plural?) With what temporalities – short-term events, individual life courses, social times, the annual budget cycles, business cycles, nature’s (and perceiving society’s) seasons, various half-lives of radioactive materials, long-term geological and evolutionary times – do we examine the longstanding issues? How can scientists (of different kinds) and anthropologists (of different kinds) constructively challenge each either to think in new ways about the many problems that face humanity? Our session takes up the notion of scales to explore such issues in concrete and in plural terms wherein we follow emerging contours of a problem of common concern. The question about the scales is, in the same instance, the question about the how of subjectivities. Take for instance; an immune system activated within our body transforms the contour of our individuality and subjectivity. The emerging subjectivity is no longer identical to our consciousness or will to be. The transformation of our environment as a result of, say, global warming or nuclear waste pollutions, inevitably has consequences in our intestinal microenvironment. Prostheses, including robotic devices and smart phones, attached to one’s body, transform the body and the embodied mind, and hence, the mode of existence in the world. In this session, we will be presenting concrete ethnographic cases related to these issues, in one way or another, which will be followed by a cross-disciplinary round-table discussion.
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.