"Biocapital - Colonial and Postcolonial Cultures of Science, Labour, and Value"

22 March, 2013

In recent years, a series of groundbreaking studies have proposed the concepts of biocapital, bioeconomy, and biovalue as a means of understanding the contemporary imbrication of life science research and market economies. This workshop invites participants to further probe these concepts by interrogating the relationship between colonial and post-colonial regimes of science, labour, and value. What becomes of the labour theory of value when the body’s susceptibility to metabolic and cellular change is put to work in the commercial transaction of reproductive and experimental labour? To what extent does the commercial valuation of suspended, immortalised, or experimental life throw into question both received understandings of life and classical understandings of value? Participants will draw on orthodox and non-orthodox, Marxist and non-Marxist, theories of value to conceptualise the heterogeneous spaces of the postcolonial biobank, the colonial specimen collection, the transnational market in reproductive tissues, surrogate labour, and experimental data, and the hospital as site of medical experiment.

Location: Darlington Centre

Contact:Rodney Taveira
Phone: 61 2 9036 6381 (Tues/Wed/Fri)