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Episode 10: “Pandemics as a Politics of Death in the Anthropocene: Is a Virus a Dispositif?”

Episode 10: “Pandemics as a Politics of Death in the Anthropocene: Is a Virus a Dispositif?”

Thursday, January 7, 2021 12:00 am
- 12:00 am EST

In this episode, LAC members Müge Gedik and Camila Gutiérrez interview Dr. Eduardo Mendieta (Penn State, UP) about his project on the anthropocentric COVID-19 virus in terms of an apparatus of pandemic governmentality in the Anthropocene as well as the role of colonialisms and slavery in the production of the Anthropocene, including European colonialism that initiated a process of extraction of resources and bodies that lead to the destruction of indigenous peoples and ecosystems. Topics include how globalization, mega urbanization, mass transportation and tourism, vectors of contagion enable the global spread of viruses in the epoch of the Anthropocene today, in which globalized humans become the facilitator of a global pandemic such as that of COVID-19. We discuss how neoliberal politics of extraction change the metabolism of the earth through changes in the seas, the atmosphere, and on the land; and the detrimental consequences of climate crisis and the following politics of death on black, indigenous, latinx, and people of color. The discussion continues on how the politics of death that follow European colonialism and modernity emerge out of the genocide of indigenous peoples, native American peoples, and the slave trade. We explore the relationship of causality between colonization, globalization, and the exchange of viruses and bacteria that occurred in this process, and the correlation between microparasites (virus, bacteria) and macro parasites (kings, autocratic governors).