Title Deadly Biocultures: The Ethics of Life-Making
Author Nadine Ehlers, Shiloh Krupar
ISBN 9781517905071
List price USD 27.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 288
Book size 140 x 216 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Minnesota Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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Review of the Book:

“Nadine Ehlers and Shiloh Krupar have written a brilliant book about the Janus-faced nature of neoliberal biopolitics. Focusing on a diverse range of topics, from race-based medicine to the ‘war on cancer,’ they superbly show how practices and technologies aimed at fostering life in liberal democratic regimes perversely produce vulnerability, death-in-life, and even death itself.”

Jonathan Xavier Inda, author of Racial Prescriptions: Pharmaceuticals, Difference, and the Politics of Life


In their seemingly relentless pursuit of life, do contemporary U.S. “biocultures”—where biomedicine extends beyond the formal institutions of the clinic, hospital, and lab to everyday cultural practices—also engage in a deadly endeavor? Challenging us to question their implications, Deadly Biocultures shows that efforts to “make live” are accompanied by the twin operation of “let die”: they validate and enhance lives seen as economically viable, self-sustaining, productive, and oriented toward the future and optimism while reinforcing inequitable distributions of life based on race, class, gender, and dis/ability. Affirming life can obscure death, create deadly conditions, and even kill.

Deadly Biocultures examines the affirmation to hope, target, thrive, secure, and green in the respective biocultures of cancer, race-based health, fatness, aging, and the afterlife. Its chapters focus on specific practices, technologies, or techniques that ostensibly affirm life and suggest life’s inextricable links to capital but that also engender a politics of death and erasure. The authors ultimately ask: what alternative social forms and individual practices might be mapped onto or intersect with biomedicine for more equitable biofutures?



Introduction: Biocultures

Chapter 1. Hope: Cancer

Chapter 2. Target: Race

Chapter 3. Thrive: Fat

Chapter 4. Secure: Aging

Chapter 5. Green: Death

Coda: Endure



About the Authors:

Nadine Ehlers teaches sociology at the University of Sydney. She is author of Racial Imperatives: Discipline, Performativity, and Struggles against Subjection and coeditor of Subprime Health: Debt and Race in U.S. Medicine (Minnesota, 2017).

Shiloh Krupar is Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she chairs the Culture and Politics Program. She is author of Hot Spotter’s Report: Military Fables of Toxic Waste (Minnesota, 2013).


Target Audience:

People interested in biomedical science and biopolitics.


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