On Blood, March 30, 2011

WIDEN: On Blood

4:00–6:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Grad Room at Graduate House, 66 Harbord St.
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All welcome. No advance registration required.


Modelling the Flow of Individual Neutrophils in Microchannels
Lindsey Fiddes (Chemistry)

This presentation describes the results of experimental study of the flow of soft objects through microchannels. This work was carried with the intention of building a fundamental biophysical model for the flow of neutrophil cells in microcirculatory system.

The Poetics of Blood: Lines, Signals, and Hybrid Bodies
Phoebe Wang (English and Creative Writing)

My presentation will explore the shifting semiotics of blood and the ways it has been inscribed with cultural significance regarding identity and the body. I will be attempting to define a number of concepts and phrases, such as “blood feud” and “blood lines”, in order to present an etymological and historical view of how a physiological substance necessary for all humans alike has become a signal of difference. I will suggest that the ways in which we think, imagine and talk about blood has often become a justification for violence, as well as ways in which the binary of “flesh and spirit” has been upheld. I will provide a broad exposition of how feminism, poetry, and theories of hybridity have addressed difference and the body. Rather than articulate an unambiguous thesis, my presentation will strive to be a generative space and develop a “poetics of blood” that emphasizes our shared cultural and etymological lineage. Audience members will be invited to participate with prompts, and if they choose to, may share their own definitions of blood related phrases and idioms on cue-cards, which, time allowing, will be read during my presentation. I hope to demonstrate how those our concepts regarding the body, lineage and identity are as fluid as blood itself, and constantly being refreshed with vital implications.

A Gentle Touch on Leukemia and Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Atom Wang (Medical Biophysics)

The most common fatal cancer among men under age 40 and women under age 20, leukemia, formed by the Greek words “leukos” (“white”) and “aima” (“blood”), is a type of cancer in blood or bone marrow which is characterized by increasing number of abnormal or immature blood cells in the blood stream. Leukemia can occur in both lymphoid lineage and myeloid lineage, which are daughters of hematopoietic stem cells. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients have an overall 5 year survival rate of only 22-25%. AML is not a single disease but rather a collection of diseases caused by a variety of mutations. This presentation will provide a brief insight on leukemia and AML.

Capillary Powers: Blood and the Biopolitics of Exclusion
John Paul Catungal (Geography)

Beginning with the premise that blood must be understood as a biopolitical substance, this talk examines the processes through which groups come to be constituted as marginalized in and through the governance of blood. Drawing on Michel Foucault, I examine two modalities of exclusion in Canada – historical blood quantum laws and the current ban on MSM blood donation – as biopolitical technologies through which racial and sexual hierarchies come to emerge as salient factors in adjudicating subjectivities, belonging and citizenship in the white settler-nation. I argue that central to both is the construction of “population” as an object of power, an effect of discourse and a category of exclusion.

Directions: To get to Grad Room in Graduate House, enter through the coffee shop on the northeast corner of Spadina and Harbord and then go down the stairs at the back. An elevator to the room is accessible through the main entrance of the Graduate House residence.

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