Mercenaries, Epidemics, and Critical Security Studies

“Mercenaries, Epidemics, and Critical Security Studies”
Reimagining Global Challenges and Regional Emergencies in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia

Monday, June 1st 2015
11:30am – 7:00 pm

“Flying A” Room, UCEN
University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB’s “Interdisciplinary Global Security Hub” brings together scholars from across the social sciences, humanities, sciences and public health to examine contemporary issues of security, risk, conflict, humanitarian intervention, militarization and disaster management.  Our aim is to develop interdisciplinary forms of public engagement and new research methods that look behind and through spectacles of media, deployments of armed force, technologies of surveillance, and social and political forms of repression and insurgency.  In this conference, we will focus on two of the most urgent security issues of our day:  (1) the proliferation of mercenaries, armed insurgencies and other non-state and private-sector armed actors in their roles as subcontractors or autonomous actors that generate ideologies, masculinities, economies, cultures, technologies, strategic deployments, and cultural representations in unique ways; (2) the role of security industries, cultures, and humanitarian interventions in the apprehension and treatment of global epidemics, particularly HIV/AIDS and Ebola, in the context of the current crisis in West Africa, as well as in other world regions.   We will also examine the intersections between these two issues and consider their broader relations to processes of militarization, privatization, and “humanitarianization” or human security.

11:00 Coffee, Snacks, and Chat

11:30 Welcome and Overview:
Michael Stohl, Director, Orfalea Center, “Welcome”
Paul Amar, Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Global Security Hub, “An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Global Security Studies in the Contemporary Context”

12:00—2:00 Panel One:  “Mercenaries, Humanitarian Actors, Securitized Formations”
Fernando Brancoli, Red Cross/Global Studies, “Anthropophagic Military Contractors: Globalization and Privatization in Libya, from Gaddafi to Today’s Saharan Conflicts”
Lisa Parks, Film & Media, “Vertical Formations: Armed Conflicts and Surveillance in Rural Mali & Nigeria”
Bhaskar Sarkar, Film & Media, “Pirate Potentialities and Security”
Chair:  Sherene Seikaly, History
Discussant: Megan Stanek, Global Studies; Claudia Matter, International Red Cross

2:00—2:30 Lunch Served

2:30—4:30 Panel Two: “Epidemics, Emergencies, and Security Imaginaries”
Susie Cassels, Geography, “Short-Term Mobility and Sexual Behavior: HIV in Ghana”
Bishnupriya Ghosh, English, “Viral Emergencies: HIV Video Culture in India”
Mariane Ferme, Anthropology, UC Berkeley, “A 21st Century Epidemic: Ebola and the Development of Academic, Humanitarian, and Medical Knowledges”
Chairs:  Chris Mcauley, Black Studies; Paul Amar, Global Studies
Discussants: Daniel Grinberg, Film & Media; Gorm Rye Olsen, Visiting Scholar, Roskilde Uni.

4:30—5:30 KEYNOTE TALK:  “Mercenary nationalism & militancy: Sikhs & Muslims in the South Asian Security State”
Kamala Visweswaran, Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin. and Fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study

The conference is organized by the Orfalea Center Interdisciplinary Research Hub on Global Security

Page Editor

Ben Smith
Ben Smith
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