Recent work in science studies has identified the use of “drugs for life” (Dumit 2012) – drugs which are necessary to sustain life and which also must be taken for the duration of life to have the desired effect – as a dominant trend in today’s biomedical toolkit. What has sometimes been overlooked are the everyday technologies of the self that coexist with these novel pharmaceutical regimens, like eating. The 4S panel, “Eating For Life: When Food Is the Best Medicine,” seeks to explore the intentional and incidental ways that dietary management is used to augment or stand in for pharmaceutical approaches to the maintenance of the human body.
This is a question I’ve been thinking about very deeply lately. The question in my life in 2015. I’m embarking on some new adventures this summer, all of which have grown out of my grad school experience and dissertation research. But what I’m putting together in my professional life doesn’t look like what a typical PhD student or young scholar would do. This is not exactly academic quit lit. Rather, this is a reflection on what it means to be a scholar, a professional, and a human who wants to have a good life.