Ethnographic Trans-formations: Cases, Life Histories, and Other Entanglements of Emergent Research
This talk is the presentation of an emergent research trajectory. Drawing upon an imaginary of “multisituated” research design and practice, I elaborate the (often contingent and serendipitous) development of my recent work in South Africa, which includes a research project on health and constitutionalism and a teaching- and performance-based collaboration on the politics of breath. I am still wrestling with how to structure both, how they come together and diverge, their different conceptual modalities and political stakes. This includes a consideration of the stakes of legal archival research and life-history interviews in the context of contemporary and emergent research and political situations, as well as of thinking questions of ethnographic form in concert with others who are invested in considerations of literary or musical form. How to think about transformations of research practice in the context of unsettled and unresolved macro-political transformations in uncertain and fragile times? Why might it matter?
Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Professor of Anthropology and Co-director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT) at the University of Chicago. He works on the global political economy of the life sciences and biomedicine, with an empirical focus on India, South Africa, and the United States. He is the author of Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life (2006) and Pharmocracy: Value, Politics, and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine (2017), and editor of Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics, and Governance in Global Markets (2012). He is currently embarked on a research project that studies the intersections between health, law, and constitutionalism in South Africa, provisionally titled “Just Health?: Law, Constitutionalism, and Postcolonial Disease.”
Lawrence Cohen, Discussant, Professor, Medical Anthropology, Sociocultural Anthropology, UC Berkeley.
In-person only event
Open to all Berkeley students and faculty
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Presented by the Department of Rhetoric and co-sponsored by the Anthropology Department and The Townsend Center.