Northwestern Events Calendar


Requirements for Survival: On Stockpiling and the Techniques of Resilience - Andrew Lakoff

Andrew Lakoff

When: Thursday, November 8, 2018
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: Harris Hall, #108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free; public welcome

Contact: Jill Mannor   (847) 467-3970

Group: Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Category: Lectures & Meetings


FALL 2018 KEYNOTE of The Security Dialogues

Andrew Lakoff will trace the genealogy of "national resilience" to the early Cold War, as nuclear preparedness planners sought to ensure that the nation could survive and recover in the wake of a future catastrophe.

Increasing our collective “resilience” has come, in recent years, to be embraced as the solution to a wide range of security problems: from securing cities against the ravages of climate change, to mitigating the vulnerability of the financial system to global crisis, to preparing the health infrastructure for the onset of a catastrophic disease outbreak. In these various contexts, the resilience of a given system indicates its capacity to withstand an unexpected shock while sustaining its integrity and adapting to new circumstances. This talk will examine the genealogy of “national resilience” in the United States, focusing on three key moments: first, the economic analysis of enemy industrial production systems during World War II; second, the invention of catastrophe modeling as part of Cold War civil defense; and finally, the assemblage of national preparedness for multiple potential threats in the early 2000s. In particular, the talk will focus on the under-appreciated history of stockpiling as a technique of resilience. How, it asks, have experts addressed the question: what supplies will be needed in order to ensure collective survival in the aftermath of an unprecedented future catastrophe?

This talk is co-sponsored by Science in Human Culture, the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, and the Institute for Public Health and Medicine as part of the 2018-19 SECURITY Dialogues, a year-long conversation about struggles over security from humanistic perspectives, presented by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities in partnership with multiple Northwestern departments and programs.

Andrew Lakoff is professor of Sociology and Divisional Dean for Social Sciences at the University of Southern California. He holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Sociology and Communication. He was trained as an anthropologist of science and medicine, and has conducted research in Argentina, France, and the United States. His areas of interest include globalization processes, the history of the human sciences, contemporary social theory, and risk society. Lakoff’s first book, Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry (Cambridge, 2005), examines the role of the global circulation of pharmaceuticals in the spread of biological models of human behavior. He has also co-edited a book entitled Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practice (Duke, 2006), and has published articles on visual technology and the behavioral sciences, on the history of attention deficit disorder, on antidepressants and the placebo effect, and on forms of expertise in global health. Lakoff’s current research concerns the recent articulation of expertise in public health and security in a global context, and his recent book publications include the co-edited volume, Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question (Columbia University Press, 2008), and the edited volume Disaster and the Politics of Intervention (Columbia University Press, 2010). His newest book is Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency (University of California Press, 2017).




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