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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  October 2019

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS October 2019

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Subject:

CISP Seminar: The Anthropocene and the Cell 25th October

From:

Marsha Rosengarten <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Marsha Rosengarten <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:45:27 +0000

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  Apologies for cross posting, all welcome!





Seminar with Hannah Landecker



The Anthropocene and the Cell: On Sediments, Genomes and Reading the Biology of History







Centre for Invention and Social Process Seminar



Friday October 25th 5 – 7pm



Professor Stuart Hall Building RM 326

The Anthropocene, being a concept that comes to us from geology and climate science, is generally seen in relation to material evidence gathered from the rock strata, marine sediments, and glacier ice.  It is a concept of macro scales, carbon economies, epochs and world systems.   This talk goes small instead, and thinks through biology and biochemistry to examine the idea of an Anthropocene in, or of, the cell.  Using the example of arsenic, I trace the connections between the use of arsenical medications as growth promoters in the mid-twentieth century and the emergence of chronic arsenic exposure as a suspected contributor to diabetes and liver disease. Rather than the organism in sediment during historical time, I consider the organism as sedimentation of historical time: a repository of metabolic strategies for navigating novel chemical milieu after industrialization.  From this perspective, the insides of cells can be seen as microscopic landscapes in their own right, in which the products of industrialization alter the biophysical and architectural character of molecular life, affecting the stability of genome replication and repair, the dynamics of mobile genetic elements, and the structure of chromatin.



Hannah Landecker is a historian and sociologist of the life sciences.  She holds a joint appointment in the life and social sciences at UCLA, where she is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, and Director of the Institute for Society and Genetics, an interdisciplinary unit at UCLA committed to cultivating research and pedagogy at the interface of the life and human sciences, and houses the Human Biology and Society undergraduate major. Landecker is the author of Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies (Harvard UP, 2007), and has written widely on biotechnology and the intersection of biology and film.  Her more recent work concerns the rise of antibiotic  resistance, and the history and sociology of metabolism and epigenetics.





Professor Marsha Rosengarten

Co-Director of Centre for Invention and Social Process

Department of Sociology

Goldsmiths, University of London

Lewisham Way, London SE14 6NW

United Kingdom.









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