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Regions of Resistance

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Like zoonotic diseases which have captured the world’s attention—including SARS diseases, such as Covid-19—drug resistant malaria is widely viewed as a threat that emerged in Asia. Jenna’s talk explores how scientists and policy makers act within this discursive context, which shapes their work and the allocation of scarce health resources in Cambodia. Questions about the ethics and politics of science come to the fore when the Greater Mekong subregion is used as an experimental site for the elimination of malaria to be applied in  other places where malaria is endemic. It demands innovative ways of thinking about ‘region’, following scientists’ conceptions of the ‘Greater Mekong subregion’, while also asking how borderlands are unique and important areas for the development of antimicrobial resistance. Africa-Southeast Asia relations take center stage here, as well, producing, she suggests, a region that is not geographically contiguous yet entangled through research, parasites, postcolonial conflict, and the biographies of scientists and health professionals.


Speaker: Dr. Jenna Grant is a CKS Senior Research Fellow and an Associate Professor of Anthropology and faculty at the Center for Southeast Asia & its Diasporas at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA.) Her research explores postcolonial and Cold War histories in contemporary medical, technological, and visual practices in Cambodia. Recent work includes a monograph Fixing the image: Ultrasound and the visuality of care in Phnom Penh (University of Washington Press, 2022) and a chapter on unlikely humanitarian images (Routledge, forthcoming). In 2022-2023 she was a CKS Fellow and a Fulbright US Scholar collaborating with the Khmer Studies PhD program at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Moderator: Dr. George Chigas is an Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus in Cambodian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he taught courses in Cambodian literature and cultural history. He earned his doctorate in Southeast Asian Languages and Cultures from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London and his masters in Asian Studies from Cornell University. He is the author of Tum Teav, A Translation and Literary Analysis of a Cambodian Classic. He currently lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the publications and through webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. The designations employed in the publications and through the webinars, and the presentation of material therein, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. as to the matters discussed therein. The responsibility for opinions expressed in the publications and webinars are solely those of the authors or speakers, and the publication does not constitute an endorsement by The Center for Khmer Studies, Inc. of the opinions, views or issues discussed therein.


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