Techniques, Technologies and Materialities of Epidemic Control

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organising a conference


Epidemic diseases emerge, unfold and are contained and controlled within infrastructural and technological formations. And at the same time, such technologies are employed and portrayed as crucial to the overall rehabilitation of civic order, often seen as being compromised or disturbed by unfolding epidemics.

This conference seeks to explore technologies and techniques of epidemic containment and control. This is aimed at shifting attention away from epidemic’s ‘evental’ status or the ‘outbreak narrative’ and towards economies of continuous investment and attention. The conference will focus on the coordination of objects, strategies, labour, policies and bodies in the effort to isolate, cleanse, and renew pathological environments by asking; how can we problematise the continuity of counter-epidemic technologies across supposed epistemic breakthroughs, such as the “laboratory revolution” in medicine? How do techniques and technologies function as sites of contestation, resistance, accommodation or reclamation in the course of outbreaks? What methods of in situ enskillment, from individual training to mass mobilization, does their employment necessitate? In which ways does the success or failure of these techniques and technologies inform broader configurations of infectious diseases as intelligible and actionable categories? What is the afterlife of failed or obsolete counter-epidemic technologies in the everyday sphere, and how are such techniques and devices remembered?
Period16 Sept 201617 Sept 2016
Event typeConference
LocationCambridge, United KingdomShow on map