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Warfare and Healthcare: Action at a distance and bodies in contact

Date: 6 November 2008 Time: 10:00-15:00

Centre for Science Studies

Warfare and Healthcare: Action at a Distance and Bodies in Contact Workshop I Thursday 6 November 2008 10 am to 3pm, IAS Meeting Room 1 With support from the Institute for Advanced Studies Incubation Programme Speakers: Maureen McNeil and Theo Vurdubakis

What are the rhetorics and material practices that distinguish, but also conjoin, contemporary sociotechnologies of warfare and healthcare? Inspired by recent scholarship in science and technology studies, the focus of this workshop is on cultural imaginaries, practical activities and technoscientific investments that operate within and across these domains. More specifically, we are interested in desires to further extend capacities for action at a distance, on one hand, and the forms of proximate, embodied co-presence that still characterise realities 'on the ground', on the other. An initial comparison of projects in battlefield automation and in technology-mediated healthcare delivery suggests the central role of telecommunications and robotics in both, whether for the 'safe' delivery of lethal weapons or of prescribed drugs, or for the retrieval of wounded combatants or the provision of remote diagnosis and care. Along with their comparative analysis, we are interested as well in whether and how these domains are enacted as related or separate by relevant participants, including policy makers, technology producers and users, and affected citizens.

This first workshop will bring together Lancaster researchers to elaborate our various interests in the programme theme and to identify a key set of external participants for a larger workshop to be held in Summer 2009.

Organisers: Maggie Mort, Celia Roberts and Lucy Suchman, Sociology


10-10:15 Overview of the Warfare & Healthcare theme

10:15-10:45 Participant introductions and interests

10.45-11.30 Death ex Machina: The Body, Technology and the Organization of Destruction - Theo Vurdubakis

11.30-12.00 From bodies in contact to action at a distance: examples from healthcare - Maggie Mort and Celia Roberts

12-1.00 Lunch

1:00-1:45 National and international spectacle: Gulf War I - Maureen McNeil

1:45-3:00 General discussion and ideas for Workshop 2


Who can attend: Internal


Further information

Associated staff: Maggie Mort, Celia Roberts, Lucy Suchman

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Science Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies, Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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