culture + environment creating health + wellbeing engaged research

Túllio Maia

PhD Student

With a background in both Biology and Anthropology, my research will consist of a multispecies ethnographic approach on the correlations among viruses, mosquitoes, and humans in the context of vector diseases in Sergipe state, Brazil. Thus, I aim to disentangle this more-than-human network centrally composed by the mentioned triad of beings – or entities – as they unfold in unsuspected connections: multiple artifacts and equipment, blood samples, sentinel and non-human host species, chemical reagents, lab instruments, documents, politics, legal decisions, among others that might emerge during the fieldwork.

This research proposal is part of a collaborative and multidisciplinary agenda concerning the understanding, mapping, and surveillance of vector diseases in Sergipe. It counts on the fellowship of the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS, Brazil) through the Laboratory of Entomology and Tropical Parasitology (LEPaT), the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology (GMBio), and their institutional connections.

Mosquitoes and their borne viruses, these troubling species, will be Ariadne’s thread through a conceptual labyrinth whose arrival point seems to be the generic and vastly explored idea of “viral threat”. Attentive to the shortcuts of this labyrinth, I will try to reach a new understanding – or even the transcending – of a “viral threat” perspective. This delegates me the hard task of considering these species – or entities – as “more-than-humans” with “significant otherness” while they are responsible for the deaths of millions of people around the world – most of them considered as “less than humans” in global capitalist geopolitics. By following scientific practices and viral ecologies, also their (dis-)continuities with policy makings, prevention campaigns, and promotions of health, this proposal is an effort to overcome the usual warlike narratives concerning arboviral contexts.