Troubling Classifications: Categorizing Chimeras and Enacting Species Preservation (2009, Jun 11, London)

Troubling Classifications: Categorizing Chimeras and Enacting Species PreservationDr Carrie Friese Lecturer in the Sociology of the Life Sciences and Biomedicine LSE 11th June 2009 5pm - 7pm H102 (First Floor, Connaught House)

This paper asks how chimeras, particularly puzzling biological organisms that have garnered significant attention as of late, are being officially classified in the specific situation of endangered species preservation.  Based on a qualitative study of endeavours to clone endangered animals in the United States, I contend that biology alone cannot determine the classification of these interspecies organisms.  Rather, categorizing chimeras requires metaphoric, schematic references to more familiar entities.  Here culture and biology are tools for classification.  Building on Adele Clarke’s method of positional mapping, I show that positions on classification represent an intermediary space between thought and action in elaborating a discourse of cloning endangered wildlife, which shapes the meaning of wildlife animals, the practices of preservation and zoos, and the materiality of endangered species.

All welcome, no ticket required. Seats allocated on a first-come, first served basis. Map of LSE and surrounding area:

This seminar will be followed by a drinks reception in the BIOS Centre, V1100 (11th floor, Tower 2).