Accepted Paper:

Nourishing relations: feminist postcolonial STS approaches to global health  

Author:

Ramah McKay (University of Pennsylvania)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing from feminist STS approaches to care, and postcolonial theorizations of medical governance, this paper explores the forms of distribution, expertise, and relation that emerge out of global health circuits in Mozambique.

Paper long abstract:

Over the last ten years, new donors and partners have emerged in Mozambique's global health fields, evoking discourses of "south-south solidarity" and global health alternatives to describe and enact projects of pharmaceutical development and distribution. Ethnographic accounts of global health projects have emphasized how transnational circulations of money, medicine, experts, and patients produce new practices of subjectification and self-making. This paper explores how global health goods are incorporated into projects of care and control within and beyond the health clinic. Drawing from feminist STS approaches to care, and postcolonial theorizations of medical governance, this paper explores the forms of distribution, expertise, and relation that emerge out of global health circuits. Attending to the forms of relational distribution that accompany global health - whether material resources such as medicine and food, or the forms of authority and expertise that accompany of research and treatment - the paper suggests that feminist approaches to science and technology in the postcolony can illuminate how relational practices make possible new forms of professional and biological life. Such approaches are particularly attuned to the collectivities - as kin, partners, colleagues, friends - through which care is delivered, and to the relational futures that they enable. Yet these futures often extend beyond and at times subvert the caregiving and medical aims of global health projects.

Panel T051
Feminist Postcolonial STS