Steve Hinchcliffe to present third in series of talks on the Culture and Ecology of Pandemics

UCD Environmental Humanities and the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland are pleased to announce the third in a mini-series of talks on the Culture and Ecology of Pandemics:

Steve Hinchcliffe (Exeter), ‘Over-sights’ – Surveillance, control and containment in pandemic geographies

Wednesday 2 December 2020, 4pm

Chair: Claas Kirchelle

Zoom link: 

Disease surveillance is one of the key state- and increasingly capital-based techniques for early warning of emerging disease threats, disease containment, and control. Yet this form of over-sight often raises fears in terms of suspensions of social order, disqualification of ‘improper lives’, and reduced freedoms. In this talk Prof Hinchcliffe will briefly review some of the affordances and fears concerning surveillance before suggesting that the structural consistency of the COVID-19 pandemic demands a shift from an obsession with the surveillance of pathogens and contamination behaviours to a survey of and care for universal access to health. The hotspots of this disease are not only within animal markets, threatened wildlife corridors, and international travel; they are in care homes and in the bodies of those who are structurally and racially marked by widening inequalities in health and wellbeing.

Steve Hinchcliffe is Professor in Human Geography at University of Exeter. He works on topics including risk and food, to biosecurity, human-nonhuman relations and nature conservation. Recent publications include the monograph Pathological Lives (2017), the co-edited volume Humans, Animals and Biopolitics (2016), a Special Issue of Social Science and Medicine on ‘One Health’ (2015) and social science approaches to antimicrobial resistance. He is a principal investigator at the Wellcome Trust funded Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health (2017-).

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