My re-introduction and “viral mothers”

Greetings all.

Yep. I know. Awful. So much for “I’m really going to do this every week now…” — 6 months later….

But here I am.

And I’ve missed this. So I’m taking a chunk out of my stupid busy life to make it a point to write an entry today. Yes, I’m writing this entry at 7:30am. Never fear…I have coffee in hand…so the plan is that it won’t be complete nonsense.

I’ve had a bit of an epiphany concerning the kind of writing I would want to do if I intend to actually do something with this crazy degree I’m getting.

It’s Paula Treichler’s idea that “cultural interpretations of biomedical phenomena and biological catastrophes are important to the understanding of disease in a social world” – and this is truly the knot of my various strands of study. It’s where the vampires and zombies can roam freely with Foucault and Haraway living dis-harmoniously, wreaking havoc in society’s imagined boundaries of disease. It’s my job to blur those boundaries, to help raise the questions about hard science and disease and disaster that don’t get asked enough in scientific contexts. I’m taking my cue from Paula Treichler, Brad Lewis and Bernice Hausman, (my adviser, his friend who teaches at Virginia Tech, who is also my friend’s teacher–small world), Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, etc.

So for my “re-introduction” into the blogsphere, I decided to read an article passed off to be by Brad Lewis…oh….close to a year ago. Good for me that I’ve now read it. (This article is like 10 pages long and the matter of a subway ride if you want a clue into the massive business that has been my life). The article by Virginia Tech professor Bernice Hausman is entitled “Contamination and Contagion: Environmental Toxins, HIV/AIDS, and the Problem of the Maternal Body.”

Hausman addresses a recent (and by recent I’m being broad…like a decade kind of broad) hot button topic in public health, the risks and benefits of breastfeeding. Stick with me here. (More after the fold…)

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