Targeted Biomanagement: Ethics, Politics, and Unruly Regimes of Calculation
Rebecca Hester (Virginia Tech)
Saul Halfon (Virginia Tech)
Friday 2 September, 11:00-12:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

This panel coins the term "targeted biomanagement" as a language for discussing efforts to gain biological control. It also shows that while these efforts often fail, they are productive insofar as they generate an unruly regime of strategies and calculations.

Long abstract:

The last few decades have witnessed a growing obsession with understanding, managing, and controlling the body, biology, and life itself through an ever-expanding variety of domains. Health, medicine, nutrition, the life sciences, bio and nanotechnology, among other fields, have all joined in the effort to quantify, surveille, predict, prevent and calculate "bio" inputs and outcomes at the most macro and micro levels. This panel coins the term "targeted biomanagement" as a language for thinking across these widely varied, and often highly targeted, efforts. The papers in this session illuminate a broader paradox at work in this proliferation of techniques and practices to control unruly vitality: not only do the body, biology and life itself remain obstreperous, but the proliferation of strategies and regimes of calculation meant to control them have themselves become increasingly unruly.