Charles Briggs discusses his concept of biomediatization and examines how changing approaches to public health are connected to patterns of collaboration among health professionals from many fields.
In contemporary life, the production and circulation of medical knowledge is closely bound to media communication strategies. This lecture explores how the transformation of common life activities such as eating, sex, and education into public health concerns intersects with the transformation of the media into an autonomous institution colonizing other social fields.
Anthropologist Charles Briggs analyzed the collaborations among health officials, researchers, journalists, and publics to show how those interactions complicate both global sensibilities toward epidemics and boundaries among professions.
Charles L. Briggs is the Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include Learning How to Ask, Voices of Modernity (with Richard Bauman), Stories in the Time of Cholera (with Clara Mantini-Briggs), Poéticas de vida en espacios de muerte, Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine, and Contemporary Life (with Daniel Hallin) and Tell Me Why My Children Died: Rabies, Indigenous Knowledge and Communicative Justice (with Clara Mantini-Briggs). He has received such honors as the James Mooney Award, the Chicago Folklore Prize, Edward Sapir Book Prize, the J. I. Staley Prize, and the Américo Paredes Prize, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, NEH, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.