On Life Support
Join the Franklin Humanities Institute for its new Friday morning series, tgiFHI! tgiFHI gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretative social sciences and arts the opportunity to present on their current research to interlocutors in their fields. A light breakfast will be served at 9am.
About the presentation: "This paper considers the phenomenon of breath to understand the edges of living and dying. It is based on ethnographic research in a trauma intensive care unit in one of Mumbai's busiest public hospitals. The paper examines how patients, their kin, and doctors navigate the thorny state of not being able to breathe on one's own. Being on a ventilator is always relational. The ward has very few ventilators and demand for them is high. The closer one patient comes to death, the closer another patient comes to an available ventilator and possibly life. I explain how people experience this bind, and detail how the ventilator breathes life not only into specific patients in Mumbai but also into survival economies of medicine, subjectivity, technology, and ethics."
About the speaker: Harris Solomon is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. His research and teaching focus on the interdisciplinary intersections of medical anthropology, South Asian studies, science and technology studies, global health, and food studies.