Species of Contagion examines the political and social implications of xenotransplantation for bodies, nations, and species. Scientists are demonstrating a renewed interest in developing transplants for humans with tissues from pigs, with the aid of genetic engineering techniques, immunosuppressant drugs, and novel cellular technologies. Yet, some argue that these transspecies promiscuities threaten to enable new viruses to emerge in human populations. Drawing on the later works of Foucault, this book analyses contemporary power relations in animal-to-human transplantation research, ranging across governmental regulation, scientific understandings of infectious disease, and animal ethics. While many xenotransplantation practices resonate with a security approach that renders uncertainty an inherent condition of life and encourages adaptation across species boundaries, government regulation and industry also reinscribe sovereign boundaries of bodies, species, and nations. Species of Contagion illustrates the variation in the cultural and scientific imaginaries that governments and industry bring to bear on the problematic of xenotransplantation.
Dr Ray G Carr received his doctorate in Sociology at the University of Sydney. He also holds undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Statistics from Australian National University. He has published in Animal Studies Journal, Australian Feminist Studies, and the Australian Journal of Human Rights.
"After the recent pandemic, we desperately need comparative treatments of the politics, policies and programmes that affect human, animal and environmental health. Species of Contagion is a compelling history of the present, chronicling the recent regulation of biomedical research and its translation into medical practice. With its focus on xenotransplantation and zoonotic disease risks, the book contains valuable lessons for when the promise of monsters meets newly charged national and global health security frameworks."
– Steve Hinchliffe, Professor of Human Geography, University of Exeter
"Ray Carr has given us a lucid, sophisticated and highly significant study of the contrasting regulations and ethical discourses pertaining to the practice of xenotransplantation in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the United States."
– Susan Merrill Squier, Brill Professor Emeritus of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University