by Pamela McElwee, Rutgers University
The Junior Scholar Award of the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association for 2012 had seven nominations. The award is for scholars beginning their careers, and is based on a nominated article that was published or in press in the award year. This year the judges for that award are highlighting the work of the nominated scholars.
One of 2012’s nominees was Alex Nading, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Franklin and Marshall College, for his article “Dengue Mosquitos Are Single Mothers: Biopolitics Meets Ecological Aesthetics in Nicaraguan Community Health Work” (Cultural Anthropology 27(4): 572-596). Alex’s article analyzes participatory dengue eradication programs in Nicaragua as a form of exploratory learning about the natural world. Drawing on theorists such as Ingold, Bateson and Foucault, Nading argues that participants in the dengue programs experience transformation, which he labels as “ecological aesthetic,” in the assemblages created between people, places and insects. Such entanglements include pleasure and care, as experienced by the mostly female brigadistas whose job it is to search out breeding habitats for dengue-carrying mosquitos. Nading’s article also addresses the interlinkages between biopolitics and neoliberalization in the formation of dengue “technopolitics,” and the judges for this year’s competition found his article provides a unique bridge between work in environmental and medical anthropology.
Alex was recently interviewed by Stefanie Graeter, a graduate student at UC Davis, as part of a Cultural Anthropology feature on his article, and interested readers should look for more information. The featured discussion also includes video and additional readings, making it extremely useful for classroom work.
Congratulations to Alex again for an engaging and distinctive article.