Accepted paper:

Resistant bacteria's an the Anthropocene perspective

Author:

Kristofer Hansson (Malmö University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I ask how ethnology with a medical humanities perspective can use the term Anthropocene to better understand the emerging fact that we soon will stand without functional antibiotics.

Paper long abstract:

Anthropocene has become one of the most central concepts to understand and critically scrutinize the indelible traces humans have done on earth - traces that we now leave after us for all eternity. Natural sciences are today looking for markers that can highlight this change and one of the clearest examples are Plutonium-239 from the atomic bombs in the 1940s. Another example is the resistant bacteria's that have been generated since humans began to use antibiotics, also in the 1940s. But we can also see how it affects the medical landscape and how older medical discourses and practices about healthcare are changing. In this paper I ask how ethnology with a medical humanities perspective can use the term Anthropocene to better understand the emerging fact that we soon will stand without functional antibiotics. From a cultural analytic perspective I will present those narratives that we are using in Sweden today when discussing antibiotic. I will also look into how these narratives are used to create a form of historical writing about the coming future. The empirical material consists of official reports, news articles, TV reports and so on. The material also consists of written questions on a questionnaire and material from different online forums where people debate these questions. In this way I want to use medical humanities to study and highlight the "new narratives" that can influence us in a positive direction for the 21st Century.

panel Medi02
Medical humanities transforming in the 21st century