Theorizing Human and Microbial Relations

Stephanie Maroney
Cultural Studies
UC Davis

“Theorizing Human and Microbial Relations” assembled interdisciplinary scholars from four University of California campuses to foster sustained humanistic and social scientific engagement on and theorization of the science of the human microbiome. The working groups questions addressed the knowledge production processes of microbiome scientists and the social impacts of microbiome research; drawing on interdisciplinary approaches from seven academic fields, the project critically examined this paradigm shift in the biological sciences and public consciousness. Participants developed individual research projects and map advances in microbiome science, as well as build a robust, multi-media website to forge connections with other humanistic scholars and audiences outside the university. The study carried out engagements in collaboration with scientists, food producers, artists, and educators working with microbes in the form of compelling online content, and concluded with a public assembly, featuring the various individuals, collectives, and organizations with which we fostered connections.