Thinking with Insects

Date: 20 May 2010

Venue: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Knowledge about insects has informed models and manipulations of human societies, from apiary-inspired labour reform in Victorian Britain to large- scale resettlement schemes for controlling sleeping sickness in colonial Africa. Religious, cultural, economic and political authority has been framed by knowledge of bugs; analysis of their behaviors has challenged our concepts of sociability, intentionality and language. Investigations of their habitats have informed how we construct, cultivate and manage public space. Insects are not only embedded in ecosystems but in cultural understandings; folklore, fiction and media constitute the insect as pest, pollinator or pestilence. In many ways, entomology is a political science par excellence; insect knowledge is enmeshed with the problems of governance, population welfare and ecological stewardship. Insect interventions - vector control, pest eradication, specimen collection and colony cultivation - register the evolving relationship between science, society, and technology.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Paolo Palladino

Organising departments and research centres: History