"Deconstructing the individual: how science can materially advance using queer and feminist theory", Dr. Patricia Kaishian
From Suzanne Pellegrini
The Microbes and Social Equity working group and the University of Maine Institute of Medicine present the MSE spring speaker series 2022.
April 13, 2022
"Deconstructing the individual: how science can materially advance using queer and feminist theory",
Dr. Patricia Kaishian
About the speaker: Dr. Kaishian is a visiting professor of Biology at Bard College in NY. Her scientific research is focused on the taxonomy of Laboulbeniales fungi, fungal biodiversity, and exploration of the use of certain fungi as potential indicators of ecosystem health. Beyond more traditional scientific research, Patricia works in the realms of philosophy of science, feminist bioscience, ecofeminism and queer theory, exploring how mycology and other scientific disciplines are situated in and informed by our sociopolitical landscape. Her publication, The science underground: mycology as a queer discipline, appears in the journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory & Technoscience. Patricia is also a founding member of the International Congress of Armenian Mycologists (ICAM), a research organization comprised of ethnically Armenian mycologists who seek to simultaneously advance mycological science and Armenian sovereignty and liberation.
This talk explores the field of mycology and the mycobiome through a theoretical framework rooted in queer and feminist theories, as well as philosophy of science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. The goal is to challenge, push, and explore central tenets of institutional science, and to socially and historically situate current research dilemmas in mycology and microbiome studies. By excavating and laying bare ingrained, systemic biases in scientific institutions, we can attempt to disarm fallacious assertions of "purity" in science and better understand bodies at various scales.
About the 2022 series: Microbes influence the health and well-being of all living things—individuals, communities, and broader environmental networks which span internationally. The Microbes and Social Equity group is presenting a speaker series, hosted by the University of Maine Institute of Medicine, which will specifically highlight how the different kinds of microbes that we interact with are influenced by aspects of daily life as well as the social policies which support or oppress livelihoods. The virtual speaker series aims to give students, staff, and faculty at UMaine, as well as our broader educational community, the opportunity to learn about how social equity and microbes intersect to shape health in wide range of settings—how we define what a ‘healthy human microbe’ is, how soil microbes shape community health, what challenges the integration of the microbiome research in a One Health perspective, and more. This speaker series will explore the ways that microbes connect public policy, social disparities, and human health, as well as ongoing research, education, policy, and innovation in this field.