Author:Emily Yates-Doerr (University of Amsterdam)
Paper short abstract:
What can we learn from UN discussions of ‘global development’ about the possibilities for conceptual developments in science and technology studies? I take up this question through an analysis of ecologies of reproduction in Guatemala and beyond.
Paper long abstract:
The United Nations is carrying out a global initiative to improve international development by improving fetal development. Under the banner of the 'First 1000 Days of Life,' the initiative is based on research that suggests that better nutrition in the window from conception until a child is two years of age will make for a better global future. My research tracks the emergence of this initiative, examining how a longitudinal study in four Guatemalan villages has shaped a global policy, which in turn has led to a nutrition supplementation intervention in Guatemala's poorest communities. I contribute to this roundtable by unpacking differing modes of reproduction - genealogical, allegorical, analogical, or otherwise - at play in UN and Guatemalan sustainability politics. I explore what discussions of global 'development' can teach us about the terrain of possibility for conceptual developments in the field of science and technology studies. Analysis of how others are grappling with questions of when to emphasize the here and now and when to emphasize ecological and temporal entanglements will add necessary reflection on ethnographic maneuvers between the system and the particular—an admittedly general aim, but one that might also shift the terms of generality.
Disentangling ecologies: working around 'the system'