CFP: Health, Disease and the Environment: Political Ecological Approaches.
Organizer: Eric D. Carter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This session will cover broadly political ecological approaches to health, disease and environment. Relevant concerns include:
The importance of including disease agents (parasites, bacteria, viruses, etc) with other elements of the natural environment (forests, soils, waters, plants, animals) that have traditionally concerned political ecologists
Geographical contributions to scale issues in medical science, particularly a re-scaling of health and disease issues from the traditional and well-accepted biomedical discourse. The cause of disease or ill health cannot be reduced merely to the action of microscopic pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.) on the tiny structures of the human body (genes, cells, organs)—rather, the causes of disease occur at many scales of varying importance, and are not merely biological but also social, economic, and political in origin
The social-environmental dynamic of health and disease: perceived "environmental" causes of disease are often the product of political-economic processes. Spatial variation of exposure to environmental hazards is also a social production, based on uneven power relations, not just determined by mere geographical location
Impact of global and local, short- and long-term environmental change on distribution of diseases, particularly vector-borne diseases. Resurgence of some infectious diseases (e.g. malaria) has been linked to global climate change, while newly emergent diseases (e.g. Lyme disease, Ebola, hantavirus) have strong links to localized environmental change and geographical processes (deforestation, changes in hydrological processes, changes in settlement patterns, etc.)
Linkages between health and disease and development. Widespread disease and malnutrition as inhibitors of economic and social development; need for promotion of healthy environments as part of conservation-and-development programs; analysis of national and international discourses on development and health; disease and ill health as an outgrowth of development and colonization of ecologically sensitive areas
Historical approaches (in dialogue with Historical Geography and Environmental History) to health, disease and environment: foregrounding disease ecologies in environmental histories; charting changes in scientific discourses on etiology of disease and relationship (direct or indirect) of disease to the environment; using medical/public health sources (such as surveys of diseased regions) for environmental histories.
Please send requests for clarification, abstracts, and other inquiries to ERIC CARTER (by email) by Monday, SEPTEMBER 29.
Thanks very much and please forward to any potentially interested parties!
Eric D. Carter
Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin Madison
550 N Park St
Madison, WI 53706
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