Vincanne Adams
Anthropology, History and Social Medicine
UC San Francisco

Changing conditions of biological, social, political, material and affective life under pervasive industrial chemical and biological (viral) exposure have prompted a growing concern over not only how chemicals and biological vectors are changing things but also how one describes, attends to and lives with these changes. Following Murphy’s (2017) call for theorizing our already chemically altered life – alterlife –as a feminist, decolonizing, activist possibility, this working group will explore the prospects for understanding these shifts in chemical and also biological formations as irreversible and in need of theorization in themselves. Moving beyond the turn to collapsology and its latent demands for reparations and rectifications, this working group will focus on three themes for theorizing alterlife: normalization, accountability, intimacy. The working group will inspire collaboration for publications, pedagogy and engagement across the UC campuses and beyond.