CISP Online

Blog of the Centre for Invention & Social Process, Goldsmiths

Meeting Medical Ontologies Halfway: Account of a Collective Adventure



2018 Medical Ontologies

Katrin Solhdju

12 December 16.30 – 18.30

Goldsmiths MMB 220



We founded Dingdingdong. Institute for the co-production of knowledge about Huntington’s Diseasein 2012 as a wager: The wager that Huntington’s disease (HD) – a complex, incurable, so called neurodegenerative, and genetically transmitted late-onset disease – provides an opportunity to push thinking further! Ever since, our collective which is composed of users, physicians, researchers in the humanities, and artists, has worked on quite a number of levels at the crucial task of intervening into HD’s exclusively despairing ‘natural history’, thereby interfering with the assumption that medical ontologies are the arena of biomedical knowledge-production only. In my talk I would (1) like to account for some aspects of the polyphonic research paths we pursue into the enigmatic planet we like to call Huntingtonland. (2) Taken together, these have not only rendered an extraordinary collective adventure possible but also started configuring alternative, more joyful landscapes for living with (this) disease. Finally, (3) I would like to discuss in how far Dingdingdong’s quite particular manner of cultivating problems might contribute to the Medical Humanities and more particularly to emerging ‘speculative’ approaches within this field of research.



Katrin Solhdjuis a permanent researcher of the Fonds national de la recherche scientifique (FNRS) and a professor at the Institute for Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Mons (Belgium). She is one of the co-founders of Dingdingdong. Institute for the co-production of knowledge about Huntington’s Diseaseand member of the Groupe d’études constructivistes (GeCo) at the Free University of Brussels. Her research interests range from the Medical Humanities to Science Studies and Pragmatism. She is the author of two monographs: L’Épreuve du savoir. Propositions pour une écologie du diagnostic, 2015 – German edition 2018 (soon also available in English) and Selbstexperimente. Die Suche nach der Innenperspektive und ihre epistemologischen Folgen, 2011.


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