Conversation

Science, Technology, Society Talks – 1

Conversation
Science, Technology, Society Talks – 1

“Judicialized health, the spirit of constitutionalism, and politics of labor in South Africa”

Speaker: Prof. Kaushik Sunder Rajan
Moderator: Assoc. Prof. Z. Umut Türem

The first event of 2019 STS Talks opens a conversation over the judicialization of health in South Africa. The “judicialization of health”, as conceptually developed by Joao Biehl and Adriana Petryna, speaks to ways in which demands concerning health have been made through the law, especially in global Southern contexts. In this talk, Sunder Rajan will discuss how judicial interventions in such cases are animated by creative interpretations of foundational constitutional principles.

Sunder Rajan shows that judicial interventions speak to universalizing imaginaries of human rights that are intimately connected to postcolonial imaginaries of post-apartheid democracy. At the same time, according to Sunder Rajan, they are forced to respond to the specific histories and presents of carceral and extractive regimes of neoliberal governance. In what ways do these political claims articulate with, enable or constrain the South African constitutional imagination of health as a human right? Can a biomedicalized and constitutionally mediated class action envisage new modalities of collective struggle?

Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Professor of Anthropology and co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. He works on the political economy of the life sciences and biomedicine. He is the author of *Biocapital: The Constitution of Post-Genomic Life* (Duke, 2006) and *Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine* (Duke, 2017), and the editor of *Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics and Governance in Global Markets* (Duke, 2012). He has just completed a manuscript on the politics of ethnography, titled "Multi-si(gh)ted: Comparison, Intimacy and the Praxis of Ethnography". He is beginning a new research project which looks at intersections between health and law in South Africa and India.

Z. Umut Türem received his PhD degree from the Institute for Law and Society, New York University. He is currently an associate professor at the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History at Boğaziçi University. His research focuses on the political economy of law and regulation as well as broader questions of law and society. More specifically, he examines the production and global circulation of legal and economic technologies in the neoliberal era, such as competition laws, independent expert agencies and the legal notion of property.  He recently edited (with three other colleagues) a volume entitled “The Making of Neoliberal Turkey” (Ashgate, 2016) and guest edited (with Andrea Ballestero) a special issue of the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies entitled “Regulatory Translations: Expertise and Affect in Global Legal Fields” (2014).  His recent articles appeared in differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, Journal of International Relations and Development and South Atlantic Quarterly.

The event is free of charge. Invitations available from the Akbank Sanat ticket office on the event day, one hour before the event begins.

6 April 2019 Saturday 18:00

Akbank Sanat

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