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Following those who follow mosquitoes

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Early 20th century public health pioneer William Gorgas’ said that killing mosquitoes required thinking like one. This dictum continues to frame many mosquito control programs around the world. My PhD research focuses on the urban spatial politics of vector-borne diseases in Lahore. Borrowing Anna Tsing’s (2013) notion of working with “interlocutors (whose) work places (them) in the social world of other living things”, I rely on the accounts of people whose own practices are attuned to mosquito habits and habitats — doctors and malariologists working in early 20th century British India, as well as dengue control staff in contemporary Lahore. In this seminar, I want to reflect on three particular aspects of conducting this research: engaging with the practices of these interlocutors across ‘field’ and ‘archive’; learning about the embodied experiences of women who conduct dengue surveillance; and the implications of my own methods paralleling those of my participants (walking, talking photographs, finding mosquitoes).

This talk is part of the Fieldwork Seminar: Methodologies in the 'field' series.

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