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P353


Corporeal quantification: numerical negotiations of health and the body 
Convenor:
Kim Fernandes (University of Pennsylvania)
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Chair:
Randall Burson (Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)
Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel attends to corporeal quantification to highlight the politics and possibilities of numbers in/and/as/of the body. In particular, it centers negotiations around what comes to be data by focusing on bodies and their numerical worlds, as well as numbers and their embodied worlds globally.

Long Abstract:

Processes of quantifying the body have moved around the world in and beyond healthcare, becoming integral to how matters such as access, decision-making, care, and even belonging unfold across different scales and contexts. Numbers -- which may appear as object, data, value, representation, or fact -- often belie how processes of enumeration and quantification entail complex negotiations, difficult decisions, imagined trade offs, and the representation of complex social worlds in numeric form. This panel seeks to center the negotiations that make numbers by focusing on bodies and their numerical worlds, as well as numbers and their embodied worlds to highlight the politics and possibilities of numbers in/and/as/of the body. The panel’s objectives are to: 1. examine the numerical negotiations between and among both the “counters” and the “counted,” and how the labor of these negotiations draws on technical, embodied, or other forms of experience and expertise 2. interrogate how numbers come to value and be valued, open and close possibilities, and remake peoples’ worlds and 3. cultivate and sustain a multidisciplinary conversation that examines numerical negotiations and processes of quantification across an array of settings, experiences, and communities in order to learn from convergences and divergences among these contexts.

With these objectives in mind, we invite submissions from STS scholars about the histories, futures and ongoing trajectories of both communities and categories against the backdrop of technological, scientific and other processes of quantifying the body and embodied quantification. Attending to the role of numbers in/and/as transformations, we particularly welcome papers that draw on empirical or ethnographic research, theoretical contributions, and/or lived experience that think with and from a range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives, such as the social studies of health and biomedicine, critical data studies and critical quantitative scholarship more broadly, and disability and Mad studies.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2