Book launch: Village Gone Viral

9 des 2021 14:00 15:00 ENG

Book launch with Marit Tolo Østebø (University of Florida)

Welcome to the launch of Village Gone Viral. Understanding the Spread of Policy Models in a Digital Age. This book was recently published by Stanford University Press as part of the Anthropology of Policy series. The launch is held in collaboration with the Global health anthropology research group (UiB).

In Village Gone Viral, Marit Tolo Østebø uses the example of Awra Amba, a small, rural village in Ethiopia that has become a transnational model for gender equality and sustainable development to consider the widespread circulation and use of modeling practices in an increasingly transnational and digital world. What are models and how do they come into being? What facilitates and fuels a model’s virality? Why do some models go viral, why others do not? And what are the effect of the model status on the models themselves?

Drawing on assemblage thinking, Gabriel Tarde’s social epidemiology and lessons from virology, Østebø suggests that a model – whether it being a mathematical model, an algorithm, “best practice” or a lived-in model village – best can be understood as a “viral assemblage”: a messy, fluid, socio-technical process and constellation of non-human and human actors, things, unpredictable events, and relations that have contagious and affective qualities.

You can attend onsite at Bergen Global (Jekteviksbakken 31) or join us on Zoom.

Marit Tolo Østebø is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida. Her work, which integrates perspectives from multiple specialties including anthropology of policy, anthropology of religion, gender studies, digital anthropology, medical anthropology, and Science and Technology Studies (STS), has focused on policy models and modeling communities, translations of gender equality, the interplay between religion and development, the relationship between politics and health research, and – more recently – the Covid-19 pandemic.