The recent COVID-19 pandemic revealed new vulnerabilities in global systems, along with new measures of political response. Similarly, climatic changes and growing anxieties over resources such as clean water and air expose fresh terrains for potential disaster and public anxiety. This working group explores such contemporary problems through critical engagement with planetary health, a growing field of expertise and activism at the intersection of health and environmental concerns. Planetary health positions human well-being in relation to that of other species and interconnected environments, all framed by a finite, common planetary ground. Following but also departing from earlier formations of international and global health, its proponents concern themselves not only with people, nation states and populations, but also microbial life, animal vectors and zoonotic diseases. As a consequence, questions of milieu and interconnection come to the fore, along with vital infrastructures and equipment. We seek to foster cross-cutting conversations made possible – indeed, necessary – by the historical moment, combining a range of disciplinary frames and methodologies with novel questions about health from a planetary perspective. What forms of ethics and politics emerge around such concerns and efforts to foster care? What scales of space and time, what sense of limits and possibilities do they evoke? The group emphasizes specific case studies and material examples, across areas and time periods. Activities include: reading and analyzing key texts; workshopping works in progress; sponsoring events; and conducting field trips.
For more information about this working group, contact Peter Redfield.
Taper Hall (THH) 309K
Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Founder and CEO, Conservation Through Public Health
Craig Stanford, Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, USC; Co-Director, USC Jane Goodall Research Center; Research Associate in Vertebrate Biology, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History
Laura Ferguson, Director, Director of Research at the Institute on Inequalities in Global Health; Associate Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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This event is co-sponsored by the USC Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life and USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health.