Making death matter
Thursday, 4 May, 10:15 – 12:00, Room 5A:415
Co-arranged by the Centre for Gender Studies and the Department of Sociology, Karlstad University
Dr. Tara Mehrabi, Department of Gender Studies (Tema Genus), Linköping University
Situated within feminist technoscience studies and based on one year of participatory observation in a drosophila laboratory, I discuss how drosophila becomes a meaningful animal model for Alzheimer’s disease in different spaces and materialdiscursive relations, and therefore killable. Despite the creation of novel forms of death and modes of dying and despite the large number of fly deaths in the laboratories and their crucial role in experimental biology as they stand in for their human kin, these deaths and dead matter are often not discussed within feminist technoscience studies. I suggest the concept of spectrum of killability to analyze why we do not care about such enormous number of flies’ death in natural sciences. Thinking with Karen Barad (2007) and Donna Haraway (2008), among others, I discuss killability as a materialdiscursive phenomenon that is not about the act of killing itself, even though it brings about a premature death. Killability involves the dynamic processes of “becoming with” (Haraway 2008), that have in them constitutive exclusion and agential asymmetries.
Tara Mehrabi holds a PhD in Gender Studies from Tema Genus, Linköping University. She has a master’s degree in Science, Technology and Society (STS) from the same university. Her PhD thesis titled Making Death Matter is a study of ethics and politics of knowledge production practices in the laboratory within the context of Alzheimer’s disease. In her thesis she writes about molecularization of death, killability and human and flies relation, and biological waste within the theoretical frame works of new materialisms, feminist technoscience studies, human and animal studies, and STS.