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Ms J.C. (Justine) Laurent

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile and research

    I am a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research, within the program group “Health, Care and the Body”.

    My long-standing interest in the body and its sociomaterial lives developed through my MA in philosophy (Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) and my MSc in medical anthropology (UvA), where I studied, respectively, self-quantification practices of people with diabetes and athletes, and scientific studies of the microbiome between probiotics industries, biomedical research, and legal regulation.

    In my doctoral work, I continue to explore the body by attending to one of its most mundane and important (and yet under-theorized) processes: excretion. I argue that the mundane character of excretion – familiar to everyone – can help us learn what it takes to technique a body: that is to work for the ongoing maintenance and care that is needed to live with a body. This allows me to highlight the distributed, relational, shared, and always local work that goes into normal excretion. By realizing the work involved in shitting, the rest of us can learn to do justice to the work it takes to live with a body, already in “normal”, “healthy” conditions – and move away from approaches based on individual responsibility, disciplining, and moralization, and towards a pragmatic engagement with the situatedness of mundane body practices.

    My interests include Science and Technology Studies, medical anthropology, and feminist approaches to the body.

    Further activities

    Within my team and the department, I have organized and co-organized several workshops, three Short Intensive Courses (Collaborative Writing in material semiotics, Creative Writing, Body awareness for social scientists) and I have been the coordinator of the “STS reading club” between 2017 and 2019. In addition to several academic presentations and guest lectures, I have spoken of my research in other formats, from a podcast (in English), to a magazine article (in Dutch) and to contributions to blogs (in English).


  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities