Unit Seminar, Monday 24/02/14

At: The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine
Seminar Room, 47 Banbury Road, Oxford

Coffee is available from 2.00pm – Seminars begin at 2.15pm prompt

‘Medicine and Media’
Conveners: Dr Amelia Bonea and Dr Cressida Jervis Read

Week 6 – 24 February
Ann Kelly, University of Exeter
Field Station as Stage: Re-enacting Scientific Work and Affect in African Science
This paper, which is co-authored with Wenzel Geissler (Oslo University), describes a series of historical-ethnographic re-enactment experiments with elderly scientific workers, intended to provoke the aesthetic and affective dimensions of mid-20th century bioscientific research in an East African research station.

Dr Kelly’s work focuses on the practices of medical research and scientific production, with special attention to the built environment, material artefacts, and practical labours of experimentation in sub-Saharan Africa. Her ethnographic research has often been intertwined with medical interventions and disease control projects, which has given her the opportunity to reflect on the relevance of anthropological insights and methods for public health. These collaborations have inspired a number of conceptual questions, ranging from notions of experimental value, the role of ignorance and memory in the sciences, the problematic of disentanglement in human/nonhuman encounters, or the scale of political participation and the configuration of publics in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Throughout this work she combines ethnographic research with historical and archival work to explore how African locales operate as objects of knowledge and as sites of social transformation.

Selected publications:

Please note there is no parking at the Unit.