Season 5: Animals and Biosecurity


Season 5 of The Animal Turn is focused on Animals and Biosecurity. Claudia talks to experts on health, disease and security in disciplines from epidemiology to geography, law and history.  This season unpacks some of the interconnections of "keeping life safe" and what this means for animals. The concepts discussed are important for people interested in thinking about how animals and biosecurity shape one another they delve into questions of health, politics, and ethics. Together they provide a solid foundation for thinking about what the implications are for animals when we start to speak about "keeping life safe".

Thank you to Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (A.P.P.L.E) for sponsoring this podcast; the Biosecurities and Urban Governance Research Collective for sponsoring this season; Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_) for the bed music, Jeremy John for the logo, Christiaan Menz for his editing work, and Amanda Bunten-Walberg for the Animal Highlight.

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Season 5 sponsors

The Animal Turn is currently sponsored by Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (A.P.P.L.E). A.P.P.L.E's goal is "to help bring ‘the animal question’ into the mainstream of academic research and public debate in Canada, focusing in particular on the moral, legal and political dimensions of how human-animal relations are governed."

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The Biosecurities and Urban Governance Research Collective is sponsoring Season 5 of the Animal Turn. Funded by the Urban Studies Foundation and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada this collective aims to tease out the geographies of biosurveillance in cities. They also focus how biotech and pharmaceutical companies monitor the emergence and prevalence of infectious disease and what effects this might have on populations being monitored


Amanda Bunten-Walberg and the Animal Highlights

Amanda (Mandy) Bunten-Walberg (she/ her) is a PhD Candidate at Queen's University's School of Environmental Studies. Her research explores more-than-human ethics in contagious contexts through the case study of bats and COVID-19.  In particular, Mandy is interested in how more-than-human ethics, critical race theory, queer theory, and biopolitical theory might guide humans towards developing more ethical relationships with bats and other (human and more-than-human) persons who are dominantly understood as diseased. 

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"“Dominant biosecurity discourses and practices are not value-neutral; they mark certain lives as worthy of protection and flourishing, certain lives as expendable and undeserving of protection, and still other lives as threats that must be violently surveilled, controlled, quarantined, or eradicated.  Dominant approaches to biosecurity are deeply informed by entangled logics of domination such as speciesism, racism, ableism, and queerphobia; ultimately, it is marginalized human and more-than-human beings whose lives are considered unvaluable, sacrificeable, or dangerous and who experience the most violent impacts of biosecurity pursuits.  This is why I am incredibly excited for this season of The Animal Turn, which is critically interrogating biosecurity rhetoric and practice through a multi-species lens.  I am eager for this season to center those who are most harmed in the name of biosecurity, as well as to envision more ethical ways of engaging with biosecurity issues that take the dignity and value of all beings seriously.” - Amanda Bunten-Walberg