University of St Andrews

Neil Smith Lecture presented by Professor Shiloh Krupar

Professor Shiloh Krupar, a Geographer and Associate Professor of Culture and Politics in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. will present the Neil Smith Lecture on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 in Lower College Hall; 3-6pm.

Operational Banality: Medical Geographies of Administration and the Biopolitical Grotesque

Medical geographies of administration pervade everyday life. Spurred by popular demands for security and biopolitical obligations to health, increasingly banal operations of risk reduction and remediation govern life often with uncritical acceptance, becoming the basis of our own forms of self-care. Yet such procedures can paradoxically imperil life by producing further risks and inequities, extracting value through bureaucratic processing without end, and rendering any justice-related aims expressionless. In this talk, Krupar will discuss three U.S.-based medical geographies of administration: nuclear worker occupational illness claims and toxic debt; genetic mutation detection and the breast cancer “previvor”; and the racialized greenwashing and spatial targeting entailed by new “healthfields” initiatives and medical hot spotting. Through these cases, Krupar collects a critical folklore of operational banality that explores the grotesque mechanisms and effects of such governance of life—from new forms of biocitizenship and new geographies of the body, to the damages, injuries, deaths, and failed promises.

Click here to view the video of the 2015 Neil Smith Lecture by Shiloh Krupar