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Engaging with the mobile world: humans, animals, microbes, risks and care 
Alena Kamenshchikova (Maastricht University)
Andrea Butcher (University of Helsinki)
Catherine Will (University of Sussex)
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Traditional Open Panel
Friday 19 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Amsterdam
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Short Abstract:

The movements of humans and non-humans across the world become seen as risky or desirable depending on what, who, how and when is crossing the borders. This panel engages with these diverse mobilities and reflects upon the complex intersections of health, security and care in a mobile world.

Long Abstract:

We live in an interconnected world with continuous movements by humans and non-humans across boundaries of bodies, settlements, ecologies and states. Connectivity and separation, transmission and control span national and international discussions on health emergencies, border security, migration, capitalism, and global health. Transmission and mobility of microbes is seen as undesirable when it has the potential to cause infection, while movements of "microbial containers" such as labour within a single market economy, or commercial movement of food products or antimicrobials in global trade can be seen as economically desirable. In other words, the scope and consequences of movements radically differs depending on what, who, how and when is doing the crossing.

Scholarship in STS has explored the intersections of epidemics, surveillance, governance, and policy, highlighting the contentions and co-creation of practices around security and care. Research has also pointed to the racialised and marginalising assumptions that draw problematic parallels between microbes and risky bodies, species, and sites. At the same time, international guidelines seek to read across borders, and create another singular and often standardised world.

In this panel, we invite scholars to reflect on the implications and translations of these connections in different realms of human and animal health as they are situated in various fields of regulation, economy and science. We invite contributions reflecting upon topics such as, but not limited to

(1) The research, technologies and policies at the complex intersections of health, security, risk and care in the context of the mobile world;

(2) The existing practices and case studies of inter- and transdisciplinarity that analyse movements across borders, disciplines and species;

(3) The productive ways to reimagine dichotomies of the interconnected yet bordered world to meaningfully engage with global mobilities and policy regimes built around them.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 19 July, 2024, -