STS Colloquium features Katy Overstreet: "Bioindustrialization and More-Than-Human Community Engagement: "Athlete-Cows" as Agricultural, Scientific, & Social Actors"

Bioindustrialization and more-than-human community engagement: "Athlete-Cows" as agricultural, Scientific, and social actors.

As a figure of ongoing bioindustrial processes, the “athlete-cow” embodies more than a century of scientific breeding and feed design, productivist-oriented dairy farming and research, and careful co-ordinations between more-than-human bodies. In Wisconsin, also known as America’s Dairyland, these athlete-cows are often celebrated for their astounding feats of milk production. Yet, their precarious health and the intensive care practices necessary to maintain athlete-cows as (re)producers, point to the fragilities of productivist agriculture. Departing from the athlete-cow as a figure emerging from scientifically-informed animal production and as a methodological problem for anthropocentric social theory, this talk unfolds the limits and possibilities of engaging more-than-human communities and for re-conceptualizing community engagement through a multispecies lens.

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