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Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology: Events


"Constitutive Outsides" and Incorporeal Signals: Performing Nicaraguan Food Safety

"Constitutive Outsides" and Incorporeal Signals: Performing Nicaraguan Food Safety
Speaker: Dr Alex Nading # EdCMA
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Date and Time
15th Jan 2016 15:00 - 15th Jan 2016 17:00
Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh

This talk is based on fieldwork with Nicaraguan food safety inspectors (hygienistas).  I argue that food safety marks the edge—or limit point—of two powerful contemporary projects: global health and the global (capitalist) economy.  Many anthropological critiques of global health have worked to identify the economic ideologies embedded within it.  Examples include neoliberalism, social democracy, philanthrocapitalism.  The stories of the hygienistas offer something different.  In this talk, I present ethnographic material on their everyday work, monitoring household food production, small and medium sized enterprises, and corporate multinationals in periurban Managua.  This material offers a view not of economic philosophy embedded in health, but of a more fluid relationship between different forms of economic and health practice: market, nonmarket, public, private, and in between.  Rather than a view of global health or capitalism from the “inside,” attention to food safety as performance offers a view of their “constitutive outsides”: the spaces in which they expand, confront constraints, and shape-shift.


alex seminar

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