Vital Experiments

Living (and Dying) with Pharmaceuticals after the Human



2016~2019 (JSPS)

The collaborative research project “Life in the midst of Pharmaceutical Transformations” emerged from recent efforts in science studies, social history of medicine and medical anthropology to account for the complex pharmaceutical assemblages that cut across changing scientific values, traveling public health agendas and emergent technosocial orders in the aftermath of the welfare state and global medicine. We aimed to draw together various ethnographic explorations of such assemblages to unpack the entanglements of diseased bodies, medical knowledges and healthcare from a pharmaceutically grounded perspective. How do old and new medications perform the relationships and tensions between the lab and the clinic, between medical professionals and patients, and between different medical traditions in what one might call “experimental societies”? What are at stakes in such pharmaceutical entanglements after the falling apart of the universal human in biomedicine? These questions were addressed, among others, in a special issue (see here) published in the Japanese Journal of Cultural Anthropology in 2017, at an international symposium held at Kyoto University in February, 2018 and in an organized session at the 18th IUAES World Congress in Florianópolis in July, 2018.