Home / Events / Lisa Lindén, "Vaccines, campaigns and relations: HPV vaccination as a matter of care"

Lisa Lindén, "Vaccines, campaigns and relations: HPV vaccination as a matter of care"

STS Food for Thought Event
When May 27, 2015
from 12:10 PM to 01:30 PM
Where SS&H 1246
Contact Name
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Lunch provided. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Public health campaigns on HPV prevention in Sweden target girls and young women as well as their relatives and friends. Amongst other things, cervical cancer stories are used. In one campaign image, for example, a young adopted woman tells her cancer story as a relative. “I thought, am I to loose one more mom?”, the woman asks the viewer. In another campaign, in a Facebook video, a young guy encourages the viewer to “spread the word about HPV vaccination” by sharing his video on Facebook. “It isn’t only girls who need to care, instead we all need to do that”, he states. Finally, in a HPV app, a school nurse is depicted as caring for girls by attending to their concerns and worries. 

In a context where Gardasil often is enacted as “the girl vaccine” (Mishra and Graham 2012), what happens when HPV vaccination responsibility is widened from girls to include caring others? Instead of first and foremost focusing on HPV vaccination in Sweden as a case of individualized risk (Wailoo et al. 2010), I draw upon feminist and visual STS to re-present HPV vaccination as including different matters of care (Puig de la Bellacasa 2011). Drawing upon interviews with county councils, posts and comments on a Facebook campaign site, campaign images and digital media, I attend to HPV vaccination as a material-semiotic phenomenon that is in need of careful analysis. In doing so, I emphasize how attending to relationality, care and affects can make it possible to re-imagine what HPV vaccination can be about. Therefore, I assert that at the same time as the campaigns are gendered and sometimes individualized, they can also be read as generating caring, collective and affective relations.

Lisa Lindén is a 4th year PhD candidate at the Department of Thematic Studies – Technology and Social Change, Linköping University, Sweden. She is also affiliated with the Posthumanities Hub, Linköping University. Currently she is a visiting scholar at the Science Studies Program and the Catalyst Lab, UCSD. Her research interests concern politics of care, visual STS and feminist technoscience studies. Her PhD dissertation project deals with HPV vaccination campaigns as relationality, affectivity and care. The dissertation is expected in early 2016.

Note this is our Food for Thought format where everyone is asked to read a paper ahead of time. After you RSVP, you will be emailed with the paper to be discussed.

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