Accepted Paper:

Resistance ecologies (roundtable)  


Jenna Grant (University of Washington)

Paper short abstract:

What can malaria drug resistance sciences show us about the composition of the here and the elsewhere in our own work? I discuss this question in terms of parasite elimination experiments in Cambodia.

Paper long abstract:

Malaria with delayed response to artemisinin-based drugs, called artemisinin resistance, was reported in western Cambodia around 2006, and is now present in other border zones within the Greater Mekong subregion. Initial policies focused on containment, but human hosts move too much, and resistance to partner drugs multiplies the problem. Now the focus is on elimination of P. falciparum parasites in the region. My research explores how malaria sciences in Cambodia configure and trouble this shift to elimination. For the roundtable, I consider the question of how, through which materials, modes, and models, the 'elsewhere' is present in the 'here'. Elimination experiments involve epidemiological protocols imported from Bangladesh, mobile PCR vans developed in Cambodia, blood trucked to Thailand for analysis. They involve genetic histories of the local emergence and global spread of resistant alleles, and personal histories of malaria work in Cape Verde and Tanzania. These lists—a genre of making togetherness in science and technology studies—illuminate other places and times that make up the here, and provide clues to imperial and epistemic conditions of possibility. But the lists do not quite capture how the possible itself organizes malaria science in the region. Parasite mutations and people moving—these could happen anywhere. What might we learn from the ways in which scientists attend to specificities and uncertainties of their malarias for the world?

Panel T157
Disentangling ecologies: working around 'the system'