5.5.15: Steve Hinchliffe

Pathogenicities and the spatialities of disease situations

Emerging infections are naturecultures in which the intensities and arrangements of bodies, species and economies shape disease events. Using the current ‘volatile world of influenza viruses’ (WHO, 2015), this paper describes recent challenges to ‘contagionist’ thinking posed by avian influenza disease ‘situations’. In contrast to the topographical mapping of disease, which invites a technology of separation, the paper uses resources from STS, as well as work with virologists, to trace a topological approach. The paper ends by questioning the extent to which such an approach can or even should re-frame what it means to be bio-secure.

Steven Hinchliffe is Professor in Human Geography at University of Exeter