Life Support: Biocapital and the New History of Outsourced Labor

Event Date: 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 -
12:30pm to 1:45pm

Event Location: 

  • 5024 HSSB

The Department of Asian American Studies presents

Life Support: Biocapital and the New History of Outsourced Labor

Professor Kalindi Vora, UCSD

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

12:30 1:45 pm

HSSB 5024, Tower Side of Bldg

This talk, based on the 2015 book of the same title, thinks through how biological bodies have become a new kind of global biocapital, extending historical legacies of colonial labor practices. It examines how forms of labor serve to support life in the United States at the expense of the lives of people in India. Focusing on several case studies of outsourced work, it exposes the ways in which seemingly inalienable aspects of human life such as care, love, and trust—as well as biological bodies and organs—are not only commodifiable entities but also components essential to contemporary capitalism. How do these new forms of labors of care, nurture, and even biological reproductivity provide an opportunity to look at historical legacies of gender and labor?

Kalindi Vora is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at UCSD. She is author of Life Support: Biocapital and the New History of Outsourced Labor (2015). Her areas of research include gendered labor, globalization, science and technology studies, critical race studies, posthumanism and new materialisms, South Asian area/diaspora studies, and postcolonial theory. Recent publications can be found in journals including Current Anthropology, The South Atlantic Quarterly, Postmodern Culture, and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience.