LOON, J.V., 2002. A contagious living fluid: objectification and assemblage in the history of virology. Theory, Culture & Society, 19 (56), pp. 107-124. ISSN 0263-2764Full text not available from this repository.
This article deals with the birth of `the virus' as an object of technoscientific analysis. The aim is to discuss the process of objectification of pathogen virulence in virological and medical discourses. Through a short excursion into the history of modern virology, it will be argued that far from being a matter of fact, pathogen virulence had to be `produced', for example in petri-dishes, test-kits and hyper-real signification-practices. The now commonly accepted objective status of `the virus' has been an accomplishment of a complex ensemble of actors. Indeed, this illustrates why objectification rather than objectivity has become the main focus of science and technology studies. The objectification of `the' virus was by no means a smooth process. It involved more than five decades of highly speculative and fragmented research projects before it became actualized as a separate discipline under the heading of virology. The specific objectification of viruses took place through an inter-disciplinary de-differentiation of research questions, methodologies, techniques and technologies. The main argument of this article is that viruses only became intelligible after the establishment of a virology-assemblage. Its inauguration in the early 1950s was radical and sudden because only then could the various substrands of virological technoscience affect each other through deliberate enrolment, and engender a universal intelligibility.
|Item Type:||Journal article|
|Publication Title:||Theory, Culture & Society|
|Place of Publication:||London|
|Rights:||Copyright 2002 by Sage Publications. All rights reserved. No portion of the contents may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher|
|Divisions:||Schools > School of Arts and Humanities|
|Depositing User:||EPrints Services|
|Date Added:||09 Oct 2015 10:30|
|Last Modified:||23 Aug 2016 09:10|
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