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Ungovernable Life: The Unmaking of Biopolitics in Iraq

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Weinstein Hall, Brown-Alley Room
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The international studies program and healthcare studies program welcome Dr. Omar Dewachi, assistant professor of anthropology, social medicine and global health and co-director of the conflict medicine program at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

During the last 20 years, Iraq’s doctors have been at the forefront of wars fought silently and obliquely during the Gulf Wars, the brutal twelve years of sanctions, and the 2003 invasion and occupation. In this instance, however, the figure of the doctor is not one of mere practitioner of medicine, but one whose activities take place in the nexus of competing state-making histories and biopolitical projects that pitted Iraqi powers against those of the United States and the United Nations. In this talk, Dewachi interrogates the social and medical dimensions of state “failure” in light of the historical and present day claims of Iraq’s so-called “ungovernability.” Drawing on historical and ethnographic research from his book, Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq (Stanford University Press), he focuses on how such politics of ungovernability, which are both produced and disavowed by the state, become entangled in the everyday biomedical management of afflicted bodies in during more than two decades of US-military interventions in the country.

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact: Nancy Propst