Reconfiguring Species for Immunitary Hybridity

  • Nik Brown


Like blood, transplantation is a singularly defining expression of the contemporary biopolitics of immunity. This chapter focuses on the contentious clinical and research domain of transpecies transplantation, or xenotransplantation. Where the previous chapter was primarily concerned with the biopolitics of immunitary circuits between humans, this discussion turns towards our changing biotechnological relationship to other species, other immunitary animals. Whilst the approach may well offer a therapeutically life-saving solution for transplant patients, it potentially provides a means of transferring contagious diseases across species barriers. The chapter explores, with reference to Derrida and Sloterdijk, the tendency of immunitary purification and protection to recoil back upon their original designs. The chapter asks what might it mean to place trust in, or have confidence in, biosecurity measures that make the realisation of a threat (pandemics, xenozoonotic disease outbreaks, etc) more possible, not less so.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nik Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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