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Book Sections Year : 2021

Introducing with microbes: from witnessing to withnessing

Sally Atkinson
  • Function : Author
Charlotte Brives
Sabine Biederman
  • Function : Author
Jose Cañada
  • Function : Author
A.C. Davidson
  • Function : Author
Joshua Evans
  • Function : Author
Veera Kinnunen
  • Function : Author
Elina Oinas
  • Function : Author
Andie Thompson
  • Function : Author
Catherine Will
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Without microbes, no other forms of life would be possible. But what does it mean to be with microbes? With Microbes sets microbes and the multiple ways they exist around, in and on humans at center stage. In this book, 24 social scientists and artists attune to microbes and describe their complicated relationships with humans and other beings. The book shows the multiplicity of these relationships and their dynamism, through detailed ethnographies of the relationships between humans, animals, plants, and microbes. Ethnographic explorations with fermented foods, waste, faecal matter, immunity, antimicrobial resistance, phages, as well as indigenous and scientific understandings of microbes challenge ideas of them being simple entities: not just pathogenic foes, old friends or good fermentation minions, but so much more. By describing these complex, dynamic, and ever-changing entanglements between humans and microbes, the chapters raise crucial points about how microbes are ‘known’ and how social scientists can study microbes with ethnographic methods, more often than not in the absence of microscopes, models, and computations. Following these various entanglements, the book tells how these relations transform both humans and microbes in the process.
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hal-03417864 , version 1 (03-01-2022)

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Sally Atkinson, Charlotte Brives, Sabine Biederman, Jose Cañada, Denis Chartier, et al.. Introducing with microbes: from witnessing to withnessing. Charlotte Brives, Matthäus Rest, Salla Sariola (ed.). With microbes, Mattering press, pp.17-40, 2021, 978-1-912729-18-0. ⟨10.28938/9781912729180⟩. ⟨hal-03417864⟩
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