Inventing the Social

book_ Inventig the Social

Edited by Noortje Marres, Michael Guggenheim, and Alex Wilkie
Mattering Press, 2018

Available to be reviewed, please contact tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx

Inventing the Social, edited by Noortje Marres, Michael Guggenheim and Alex Wilkie, showcases recent efforts to develop new ways of knowing society that combine social research with creative practice. With contributions from leading figures in sociology, architecture, geography, design, anthropology, and digital media, the book provides practical and conceptual pointers on how to move beyond the customary distinctions between knowledge and art, and on how to connect the doing, researching and making of social life in potentially new ways. Continue reading

Ghost-Managed Medicine: Big Pharma’s Invisible Hands

book_ Ghost Managed Medicine

Sergio Sismondo
Mattering Press, 2018

Available to be reviewed, please contact tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx

Ghost-Managed Medicine by Sergio Sismondo explores a spectral side of medical knowledge, based in pharmaceutical industry tactics and practices.

Hidden from the public view, the many invisible hands of the pharmaceutical industry and its agents channel streams of drug information and knowledge from contract research organizations (that extract data from experimental bodies) to publication planners (who produce ghostwritten medical journal articles) to key opinion leaders (who are sent out to educate physicians about drugs) to patient advocacy organizations (who ventriloquize views on diseases, treatments and regulations), and onward. The goal of this ‘assemblage marketing’ is to establish conditions that make specific diagnoses, prescriptions and purchases as obvious and frequent as possible. While staying in the shadows, companies create powerful markets in which increasing numbers of people become sick and the drugs largely sell themselves. Continue reading

Desplazar el centro: la lucha por las libertades culturales

book_Desplazar el centro

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Rayo Verde, 2017

Available to be reviewed, please contact tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx

Durante los últimos cuatrocientos años, las culturas del mundo han sido dominadas por un conjunto de estados occidentales, que han llegado a verse a sí mismos como el centro del universo, un centro desde el cual han controlado, además del poder económico y político, el poder cultural. Uno de los efectos más devastadores de este dominio ha sido la aniquilación y la represión de las culturas africanas. Con la cultura al servicio del pueblo debilitada y dividida, la lucha del campesinado y del proletariado por los derechos humanos fundamentales y por la redistribución de la riqueza es más díficil. Continue reading

The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production

book_The Mobile Workshop

By Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga
The MIT Press, 2018

Available to be reviewed, please contact tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx

How the presence of the tsetse fly turned the African forest into an open laboratory where African knowledge formed the basis of colonial tsetse control policies.

The tsetse fly is a pan-African insect that bites an infective forest animal and ingests blood filled with invisible parasites, which it carries and transmits into cattle and people as it bites them, leading to n’gana (animal trypanosomiasis) and sleeping sickness. In The Mobile Workshop, Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga examines how the presence of the tsetse fly turned the forests of Zimbabwe and southern Africa into an open laboratory where African knowledge formed the basis of colonial tsetse control policies. He traces the pestiferous work that an indefatigable, mobile insect does through its movements, and the work done by humans to control it. Continue reading

What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa?

book_What do Science Africa

Edited by Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga
The MIT Press, 2017

Available to be reviewed, please contact tapuya.lasts@udlap.mx

Explorations of science, technology, and innovation in Africa not as the product of “technology transfer” from elsewhere but as the working of African knowledge.

In the STI literature, Africa has often been regarded as a recipient of science, technology, and innovation rather than a maker of them. In this book, scholars from a range of disciplines show that STI in Africa is not merely the product of “technology transfer” from elsewhere but the working of African knowledge. Their contributions focus on African ways of looking, meaning-making, and creating. The chapter authors see Africans as intellectual agents whose perspectives constitute authoritative knowledge and whose strategic deployment of both endogenous and inbound things represents an African-centered notion of STI. “Things do not (always) mean the same from everywhere,” observes Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, the volume’s editor. Western, colonialist definitions of STI are not universalizable. Continue reading