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Viral Economies: Bird Flue Experiments in Vietnam

Tuesday, February 18 at 4:00pm

Knight Library, Browsing Room
1501 Kincaid Street, Eugene, OR

Natalie Porter, Design Researcher, FreshForm Interactive (formerly Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame)

In this talk, I examine a biosecurity experiment to produce H5N1-free poultry subpopulations in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. I describe how this experiment compels farmers to invest in new, commercial poultry, whose physiological make-up vital requirements alter longstanding labor practices and culturally-situated exchange relations. In so doing these experiments surface different ideas about the role of poultry in agricultural ecologies and economies, and different understandings of the role of commercial market standards in governing health subjects. I argue that in a global health landscaper characterized by increasingly market-oriented health programming, biosecurity experiments signal an emerging form of disease control, which collapses economic and epidemiological concerns, and privileges certain life forms and forms of life over others.


Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Lecture, Presentation


College of Arts & Sciences, Anthropology, Asian Studies

Target Audience

All Students, Faculty/Staff, General Public

Co-Curricular Domains

Health & Well-Being, Intercultural Development




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