Contested categories, 2nd Annual Symposium of the Postgraduate Life Sciences and Society Network, 14-17 January 2007, hosted by the Medical Museion, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
The symposium will focus on how the recent biosciences challenge and reconfigure formerly stable categories: The social and the biological, the nature/culture dichotomy and the human/animal boundaries are increasingly blurred and become populated by hybrids, cyborgs and boundary objects. New material objects, visual and virtual representations produced and circulated in biomedicine and biotechnology challenge and disrupt the analytical categories of the historiographical and social studies of science. The new categories emerging in this empirical field of the biosciences raise a host of questions:
What are the sites of contestation and which categories are at stake? What new kinds of contested/ambiguous relations become possible and acquire significance? How are they co-produced and mediated by material objects and visual and virtual representations? What are the theoretical and methodological implications and challenges we face when studying the life sciences? How can comparative and inter-disciplinary studies contribute to exploring the formation and reconfiguration of categories such as race, gender, kinship, life, the body etc? In which ways can concepts such as biosociality, bioindividuality and hybridity address these changes – are they useful tools or phenomena of these transformations?
We welcome contributions from all disciplines: theoretical and empirical investigations into different aspects of biomedicine/ biosciences as well as investigations of methodological approaches.