Monday 25th March – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

You are invited to the next session of the Biological Interest Group on Monday 25th March. As usual it will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 1-2pm. Participants can bring lunch and drinks if they wish.

Pierre-Olivier Méthot will be leading the session, which will be based on his paper entitled ‘What is a Pathogen? Essay on the Nature of Biological Associations in Health and Disease’.

Pierre-Olivier would welcome feedback on the overall argument, structure, and content of the paper and especially maybe on the last section of the essay (on the use of imprecise terms in science). Particularly, he would like to know whether this approach sounds consistent with the rest of the paper, whether it should be augmented and clarified (and if so, how), or whether it should be left aside for a future paper. In all cases, comments, questions, or suggestions on any aspect of this work will be most welcome!

The article can be obtained by emailing Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] – as it is a work in preparation please do not disseminate further without Dr. Méthot’s express permission.

For any further information on BIG, please contact either me at jwel201 [at] or Sabina Leonelli at S.Leonelli [at]

Monday 18th March – 1-2pm – Seminar Room, Byrne House

Ann Kelly will be leading the session, which will be based on the draft of an article exploring the critical possibilities of multi-species ethnography for an analysis of public health she has co-authored with Javier Lezaun, based on fieldwork conducted in Tanzania on a malaria control program.

Here is the abstract for the article:

“Recent work in anthropology points to the recognition of multi-species entanglement as the grounds for a more ethical politics. In this article, we examine efforts to control malaria in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as an example of the laborious practices of disentanglement that characterize public health interventions. To capture the mutual imbrications of mosquitoes and humans in the city we elaborate and extend the concept of domestication, understood here as the process of co-adaptation to a shared built environment. Our goal is, first, to enrich public health conceptualizations of the ‘vectors’ of disease by attending to the urban surfaces and civic textures that create the conditions for transmission. From this perspective, disease control becomes less a matter of species eradication than of urban maintenance and repair.Second, we aim to nuance emerging anthropological theorizations of co-existence, by reflecting on the separations and distances that are often necessary to preserve the domus against the perils of proximity.”

The article can be obtained by emailing Jim Lowe at jwel201 [at] – as it is a work in progress please do not disseminate further without Dr. Kelly’s express permission.

For further information about this session or BIG in general, please contact Sabina Leonelli at  S.Leonelli [at]