The guts have been under the spotlights recently, largely thanks to work on the microbiome. But bowels are also the site of mundane, daily practices that challenge the centrality of given understandings of the body to push excrements and digestion centre stage. In their doctoral research as part of the Eating Bodies project, Justine Laurent looks at practices around excreting (constipation, incontinence, eating, bowel awareness, good and bad bacteria, etc.) and around management of human waste in France and in the Netherlands. What can we learn (ethnographically and in theory) if we attend to defecating in practices? In the project some specificities of digesting and defecating are explored, but also important differences, similarities and relations with eating are teased out.
Justine Laurent pursued a masters in anthropology of medicine at the University of Amsterdam with the Eating Bodies team. Their research developed further their previous training in Philosophy and STS in Paris-1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. Attending to practices of scientists and the industry around probiotic bacteria in the Netherlands, their master thesis explored the circulations, fluidity and stabilizations in the probiotics world around different versions of ‘good bacteria’.
For contact please email J.C.Laurent@uva.nl