Assembly: Reading group, Living well with infrastructure, Led by Megan Clinch

The River Calder

Join us for a reading group with medical anthropologist Megan Clinch as part of Test Sites: Assembly.

Infrastructure refers to the physical and associated organisational structures needed for a society to function including roads, water supplies, telecommunications, sewers, electrical grids, canals and sewerage systems. When infrastructure works, we often do not notice it, when it fails the impact on our everyday life and physical and mental health and can be severe.
Throughout the twentieth century the development and maintenance of infrastructure was considered a marker of a strong and prosperous nation state. However, over the last few decades infrastructure has become a means of generating capital through extensive programmes of privatisation across higher, middle and lower income countries. As members of the public, we are dependent on infrastructure and expected to have a say its development, in spite of the fact that private corporations often own it. 
In this reading group, we will discuss the geographer Andrew Barry’s short article Infrastructure Made Public and reflect on our relationship with the infrastructure we live with. To what extent do we know the infrastructure around us? Do we feel we have a say in how it is maintained and developed? What have been our experiences of infrastructure when it fails? Are we living with infrastructure in the best way we can?
Booking is free but places are limited so please do let us know if you become unable to attend. Book here.
Megan Clinch is a social anthropologist and lecturer at the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMUL. Her research explores how different forms of investigation, experimentality, evidence, and evaluation are understood (or not) and managed in the development of public health interventions.