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Biomedicine after its undoing 
Ross Perfetti (University of Pennsylvania)
Randall Burson (Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)
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Ross Perfetti (University of Pennsylvania)
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

As multidisciplinary scholars of biomedicine, we reimagine critical orientations that think with, rather than against, the ethics, politics, and pragmatics of biomedical practitioners and practices to materialize transformation from within an ongoing system.

Long Abstract:

In the long shadow of Foucault, critique undergirds social studies of of biomedical knowledge and practice, with the hope that deconstruction can make room for transformation (DelVecchio Good 2001; Rabinow and Rose 2006; Conrad 2007; Clarke 2010). And still, amid ongoing pandemics, wars, and socio-natural disasters, we have witnessed the cost of undoing biomedical care for healthcare workers and marginalized communities alike. As scholars working both on and within biomedicine, we invite reflection on reimagined scholarly orientations that think critically with, rather than against, the ethics, politics, and pragmatics of biomedical practice and its practitioners. We are inspired by works on love (Berlant 2011), care (de la Bellacasa 2017), and repair (Thomas 2019) that invite us to attend to our commitments on the ground within biomedical systems as a means to "toil toward" more just and equitable ends (Franklin and Munyikwa 2021). Thus, we ask: what kinds of ethnographic/scholarly engagements and imaginations can be forged from within such systems? How can thinking with practitioners and experts, rather than against them, affect or transform critical sensibilities? How could an “otherwise” (Povinelli 2012) be materialized from within a system that is ongoing and, perhaps for now, must go on? These are some of the questions that inspire this panel, which seeks to convene an interdisciplinary group of STS scholars who are working alongside practitioners to make and do the transformative work of biomedical health care. We invite 10-minute, potentially informal or preliminary, “short papers” followed by a convened discussion.

Accepted contributions: