Interdisciplinary Research in the Humanities & Social Sciences:

In recent years, biopolitics has emerged as one of the most cutting-edge fields of inquiry across the humanities and social sciences. This interdisciplinary field of research has produced numerous theoretical concepts, research methods, and analytical tools to study how “life” has become a political object of governmentality to be controlled, manipulated, and transformed.

Biopolitics concerns the management of populations in which life is politicized, and politics is biologized (Esposito). Research ranges from philosophical texts written by leading contemporary philosophers to critically grounded studies of issues such as surveillance, global warming, immigration policy, pandemics and public health, biomedical technology and up to the human genome project.

Given the proliferation of biopolitical debates, such as the biosecurity risks posed by epidemics and pandemics like HIV/AIDS, influenza, Ebola, and Zika, instruments and apparatuses of security such as no-fly lists, management of refugee populations, and the “War on Terror,” trade agreements granting private corporations intellectual property rights over forms of life such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, even bioethical issues related to the right to die or advances in bioengineering, this research collaboration is necessary and important. These and many other issues are of special concern for Canada, and our research group aims to offer valuable contributions to further develop biopolitical theory, contribute to policy, and participate in public debate.