Message posted on 15/05/2023

International Seminar Series Ecobiosocial Complexities

                Dear colleagues,

This is a friendly reminder about the upcoming iteration of the seminar series
"Ecobiosocial Complexities: encounters, critiques, integrations".

Wednesday, May 24th:
Why the microbiome, why now? Historicising the post-genomic turn in social
theory (with an attention to fermentation) (abstract below)
Jamie Lorimer, University of Oxford. & Joshua Evans, University of Oxford

The session will take place from 13:00 to 14:30 (the time has been changed) at
the University of Lausanne (Gopolis
building . room 2215) and will be
accessible online via Zoom:
Due to the change of schedule, the lunch with the speakers (offered) will take
place before the seminar, at 12:00 in the geopolis cafeteria.

The seminars are supported by the International Relations of the University of
Lausanne (UNIL), by the Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione project
"Constructing the Biosocial" (N.185822) and, for the Spring semester, by the

The link to last semester's program is
here , and the one for the current
semester here .

We look forward to seeing you there !

Luca Chiapperino, Ccile Fasel, Francesco Panese


A range of commentators across the medical and environmental humanities are
making fresh epistemic alliances with microbiology and the post-genomic and
ecological sciences. Figures like Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing find a new
ontology in emerging scientific theories of the microbiome for grounding
political and ecological projects. In contrast to the reductionist,
individualistic and violent visions of the natural world offered by 20th
century evolutionary biology, the microbiome offers a palatable worldview
premised on symbiosis, holism, and collaboration. This talk reflects on this
conjoined probiotic turn (Lorimer 2020) in social theory and the life
sciences, noting the tensions it generates, and examines its implications for
how we understand the role of science studies in the crisis-inflected
atmospheres of Anthropocene knowledge production. This critical analysis is
grounded in a close interrogation of the role being afforded fermentation in
new materialist theories of food and health futures. It traces how the
microbial relations associated with fermentation have been taken as
affirmative grounds for a liberal, ecological, and more-than-human politics.
It notes the potential of this alliance with science as well as its risk,
mapping the wider diversity of political, economic, and ecological relations
associated with fermentation.


Ccile Fasel

MD-PhD student
University of Lausanne
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Institute of Social Sciences 
SNSF Ambizione Project: "Constructing the

Quartier UNIL-Mouline
Btiment Gopolis, Bureau 5543
CH-1015 Lausanne - Switzerland
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