Posts tagged: inventories

Maybe you are a 296.22 (major depressive disorder, single episode, mild) or a 300.00 (anxiety disorder NOS–not otherwise specified). Hopefully, you are not a 301.83 (borderline personality disorder). Your kid might be a 313.81 (oppositional defiant disorder) or, more likely, a 314.01 (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type).

“We are gravely concerned that if this is published as is in 2013, [the upcoming DSM-V] will create false epidemics where hundreds of thousands of children and the elderly who really are normal will be diagnosed with a mental disorder and given powerful psychiatric medications that have dangerous side effects,” Elkins says. “That is not tolerable.”

Current biometric technologies and slave branding are not one and the same; however, when we think of our contemporary moment where ‘suspect’ citizens, trusted travellers, prisoners and others are having their bodies informationalized by way of biometric surveillance – sometimes voluntarily and sometimes without consent or awareness – and then stored in large-scale databases – some owned by the state and some owned by private interests – we can find histories of these accountings and inventories of the bodies in slave registers, slave branding and the slave vessel manifests that served insurance purposes. My suggestion here is that questioning the historically present workings of branding, the body and race, particularly in regard to biometrics, could allow for a critical rethinking of our moments of contact with our increasingly technological border.