As part of a cluster of current research projects I’m currently undertaking on climate, colonialism, and the deep history of interspecies contact, I’ve begun to think about the human gastrointestinal tract as a site of world- and war-making. Drawing on feminist science studies theories that radically undermine the holism and independence of the human body, I am beginning to read and think with the gut as a site of porous repopulation and depopulation of interspecies bodies and energies subjected to the biopolitical management of environmental and state systems. While in contemporary epidemiological and epigenetic thinking, this manifests as a set of discourses on precarity and futurity concerning the capacities of immune systems affected by diet, antibiotics, and contagions, I am learning that there is a longer and broader history of medical thinking about the gut and its networked capacities. This history informs disparate sets of interventions linking the ‘human’ patient to the technological and environmental systems that constitute it, as well as to certain state discourses that invest hope in the gut as a workaround to both the negatively defined rights of liberal bodily integrity and to traditional constructions of welfare and humanitarianism.
I will be presenting my initial, unformed thoughts on ‘instestinal inhumanism’ and ‘gut futurisms’ at the Experiments in Thinking the Human symposium at the University of Illinois in late March 2017.
I want to publicly apologize to Chelsea Manning for misgendering her (using her pre-transition name) in my book BIOINSECURITIES on p135. I drafted the chapter before I knew of her gender transition and did not catch the error in edits. Thanks to Matthew Donovan for alerting me to this mistake. I am mailing a separate apology directly to Manning. My error is all the more severe since I criticized media outlets for failing to use feminine pronouns to refer to Manning in a 2013 blog post. My publisher has agreed to correct the mistake when the book is reprinted.
I’m excited to join the faculty in the interdisciplinary humanities programs at the University of California, Santa Cruz! I’ll be teaching half-time in Feminist Studies and half-time in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the Government of Species. [info/purchase] [library locator] The book is the first title in the new series ANIMA at Duke University Press, edited by Jasbir Puar and Mel Chen.
In response to a number of incorrect reports about my course on the Literature of 9/11 at UNC-Chapel Hill, I published an op-ed in the Raleigh News & Observer. Please also see the statement from the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC, the letter of support from concerned faculty, and the public email about my course from the UNC Provost. The UNC Faculty Council unanimously approved this resolution in defense of the course and of broader institutional protections for academic freedom in teaching. Finally, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentions the controversy in an article in Time magazine.