Those against Whom Society Must Be Defended: Mexican Migrants, Swine Flu, and Bioterrorism

The CLRC welcomes Rebecca Hester, Assistant Professor of Social Medicine in the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch and UCSC alumna, back to Santa Cruz. In this lecture, the first of two she'll deliver during the Spring Quarter, she'll discuss how Latin American-origin populations have been targeted for biosurveillance and linked to bioterrorism. This free, public event takes place Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 12:00-1:30pm, in 210 Humanities 1.

January 24, 2014

By , Coordinator, Bodies Imag(in)ed to be Obstacles to Security Research Cluster 

Since 9/11 and in the wake of the anthrax letters, there has been concern about the "dual use" of biological knowledge and material for vaccine development or for the production of biological weapons of mass destruction.  Population mobility and biological mutability have been at the center of this concern.  The swine flu outbreak in 2009, in which the source of a potential pandemic was traced back to Oaxaca, Mexico, led to outcries for a better and stronger cross-border public health infrastructure.  This presentation assesses the implications of an increased focus on infectious disease as a biosecurity concern for Latin American-origin migrants in Mexico and the United States.  It shows how Latin American-origin populations have been targeted for biosurveillance and have discursively, if never materially, been linked to bioterrorism.  The human rights consequences of this discursive link are potentially very grave for cross-border migrants as biological explanations are used to foment xenophobia and policies are implemented to "pre-empt" and "prevent" any and every lethal biological "contaminant" from entering the United States.

RHester.Headshot2Rebecca J. Hester is Assistant Professor of Social Medicine in the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX.  She holds a PhD in Politics with an emphasis in Latin American and Latino Studies from UC Santa Cruz.  Her research focuses on the politics of the body as they are manifested at and through the intersections of immigration, health, and security.


This free, public lecture is co-sponsored by the Chicano Latino Research Center,
Bodies Imag(in)ed to be Obstacles to Security (BIOS), the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, College Eight, the Institute of the Arts & Sciences, the Institute for Humanities Research, the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies, the Department of Politics, and the Science and Justice Research Center

BIOS,
a new project of the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, focuses on the surveillance, management, interrogation, discipline, and intervention of human and other bodies in the digital age.  If you are interested in joining this cluster, please contact Ronnie Lipschutz.


 

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