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Mutant Ecologies in the Age of Genomic Capital

Sat, February 4 @ 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Free – $12.00
DNA editing

Mutant EcologiesThe interconnected fields of genomic science, genome editing, and biotechnology have emerged over the past half-century as a revolution in the production of new life forms that have been eagerly adopted by agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and other business sectors. While many – including the Nobel Committee – have heralded this as a “new epoch” of limitless possibilities for positive transformation, In Mutant Ecologies: Manufacturing Life in the Age of Genomic Capital, Erica Borg and Amedeo Policante show how genetic science has been deeply intertwined from its beginning with the raw imperatives of capital accumulation. “Genomic capital,” the authors’ term for the use of genetic materials in industrial production, has literally altered many of life’s metabolic processes in service to capital’s demands. Within a socio-historical context defined by the iron rules of competition and exploitation, capital no longer contents itself with simply appropriating the living bodies of plants and animals but purposefully designs their internal metabolism, and in that way it redesigns the countless living vectors that constitute the global biosphere. This biological revolution will ripple through the everyday lives of people everywhere. Erica and Amedeo will present Mutant Ecologies and Ariel Salleh and  Stuart Newman will discuss the book and initiate the conversation.

Book available from the publisher, Pluto Press.

Erica Borg is a geographer and political ecologist based at King’s College, London. Their research focuses on the relations between capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy and ecological crisis.

Amedeo Policante is a Researcher at the Nova University of Lisbon. His writings interrogate the nexus of extraction, exploitation and expropriation that fuels the contemporary world market. He is the author of two books: The Pirate Myth and The New Mercenaries.

Ariel Salleh (discussant) is the author of Ecofeminism as Politics and numerous other books and essays on political ecology as an emerging study of humanity-nature relations. Her “embodied materialist” approach emphasizes the centrality of reproductive or regenerative labour in the world system. At present she is Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.

Stuart Newman (discussant) is professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College and a leading scientific critic of the use of developmental biology to modify human species identity, including cloning and germline genetic manipulation. Among his numerous books and publications, Stuart is the co-author with Tina Stevens of Biotech Juggernaut: Hope, Hype, and Hidden Agendas of Entrepreneurial BioScience.


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