Shiloh Krupar: Folklore of Operational Banality

Shiloh Krupar: Folklore of Operational Banality

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126 Voorhies Hall

Everyday Militarisms: Lethal Entanglements Collaboratory Keynote

Shiloh Krupar

Folklore of Operational Banality:
Medical Administration, Everyday Militarisms,
and the Biocratic Grotesque

Using the figure of “FOOB” (Folklore of Operational Banality), Krupar will explore the reductive and affective workings of policy folklore that lead to the “banality of the exception” and intimate everyday forms of militarism in U.S.-based medical administration. This experimental lecture will convene a panel of policy narratives to scrutinize the operative truths, procedural rationalities, and consequential, negative, and deadly effects of several medical administrative systems that produce ever-more discriminating inequities in the pursuit of health/life. The policy briefing covers three case studies, including a compensation program for sick nuclear workers, breast cancer detection protocols, and a geo-data-driven way of addressing uncompensated medical care. Across these diverse areas of medical administration, FOOB research associates delineate the “biocratic grotesque”—a framework for understanding biomedical mechanisms that repurpose military infrastructures and technologies for biosecurity, sort people in terms of cost and risk, generate value through technical tautology/obscurantism, and normalize injury, illness, or suffering as a project of self-care and resourcefulness. The panelists collaboratively seek to foreground questions/issues around the relationship between policy and folklore, administrative pedagogies and banal organization of violence.

Co-sponsored by American Studies, Cultural Studies, Feminist Research Institute, and the Institute for Regional Change

Shiloh Krupar’s (Georgetown Culture and Politics, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor) past & current projects explore several interrelated areas: military landscapes; model cities & urban-environmental projects in China; the relationships between environmental & financial disasters; & biomedicine, specifically medical geographies of waste. Her most recent book is Hot Spotter’s Report: Military Fables of Toxic Waste.

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