Mundane Governance Conference

I am attending and presenting at the inaugural conference on Mundane Governance at the Australian National University, an event organized by Simone Dennis and Gavin J.D. Smith. The concept of mundane governance permits scholars to explore the subtleties and intimacies of governance, as is beautifully demonstrated in Woolgar and Neyland’s foundational work, Mundane Governance (2013). The conference offers delegates the opportunity to expand and extend the concept past its case specificity and to critically engage the concept from various disciplinary and analytic perspectives. In attending to the micro-dimensions of the concept itself, the conference provides a space to think with and through some of the most pressing of contemporary concerns about how the everyday, the nation, and the world are governed.

I am presenting the paper, Governing Brain Injury and its Effects: Interstitial Spaces of Risk, Injury and Disability. The paper steps back from popularized depictions of traumatic brain injury in sport to consider the governance of the perceived risks of brain injury and its aftermath, grounding its analysis in affected participants’ descriptions of how they navigate and manage different regulatory domains, strategies and devices in everyday life. It examines participants’ reflections on the struggles of pursuing diagnosis, treatment and disability support. Their accounts point to dimensions of brain injury governance not captured in broader discussions of TBI, including details about their engagement with administrative systems, technical procedures and professionals operating across healthcare, social welfare, and workplace contexts. In doing so, participants come to occupy an interstitial space between risk, injury and disability, one that extends and challenges socio-legal observations about the constitutive relationships between governance and subjectivity.