Accessibility statement

Bryan Lim
Postdoctoral Research Associate



Bryan works at the intersection of science and technology studies, medical sociology, multi-species ethnography and posthumanist thought. He is particularly interested in understanding why and how the problem of living with microbial others continues to be configured as an immunological problem of keeping organism and microorganism apart and relatedly, the implications that this has on the ways we think and approach disease, finitude, birth and death. More broadly speaking, he is concerned with the pragmatics of radical pluralism, and how practices of thinking, knowing, and living differently might be encouraged to flourish.

Titled ‘Thinking with HIV: microbiopolitics, pathogens and the limits of multispecies relationality’, his doctoral research examines the manner and limits of our human-microbial-technological entanglements. Situated at the point where post-Pasteurian microbiopolitics meets a more traditional immuno-microbiopolitics, his research builds on posthumanist thinking and probes the limits of current debates in social theory regarding multispecies relationality by asking: what might it mean to embrace an ‘unloved’ and ‘unloving’ pathogenic other if doing so also simultaneously threatens one’s very own existence? To this end, he engages HIV – a virus that is often seen only as scourge, crisis, and disaster – as a more-than-human heuristic to learn what microbes and infectious diseases have to teach us more broadly about different ways of wading through viral clouds, uncertain ethico-onto-epistemological projects and multiplying utopian and apocalyptic futures. By braiding multispecies (hi)stories related to voluntary HIV auto-infection with meditations on anthropocentrism, human foodiness, birth and loss, his doctoral research takes to heart how multispecies worldmaking is never only benign and makes clear some of the microbiopolitical calculations at stake when reassembling modern life.

Prior to his PhD, he completed his Masters in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where he was involved in research on medication adherence among adolescents living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi. As part of a fellowship at the Science Museum, he has also studied the Dutch AIDS Memorial Quilt, focusing on the materiality, cultural significance and conservation of leather both by leatherfolk and museum professionals.

He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the ESRC-funded project ‘Why the Folate Controversy Persists: Mapping the Biosocial Complexities of Folate’, led by Dr Mette Kragh-Furbo. The project focuses on the biosocial complexities of the B-vitamin folate and folic acid and is interested in understanding why the folate controversy persists. He will be involved in the exploration and mapping of the relationship between the biology and social life of folate so as to generate new knowledge about the connections between the why, how and what we ingest and what these compounds do in our bodies.


Full publications list

  • Lim, B., Aldridge, A., Nicholls, E., Christianson, A., and Dymock A. (forthcoming 2023). Technobarbie speaks back: the gendering of experimentation. Journal: Paragraph, Special Issue on Paul Preciado.
  • Lim, B. (2023). Posthumanism and the limits of multispecies relationality. In M. Hayler and C. Daigle (Eds.), Posthumanism in Practice. Bloomsbury.
  • Lim, B. (2020). Covidiots and the Clamour of the Virus-as-Question. Anthropology in Action, 27(2), 78-81.
  • Gee, S., Chum, A., and Lim, B. (2019). Moving Metaphors: Shifting Institutional Responsibilities and Evidentiary Boundaries in the Commissioning of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV. Qualitative Health Research, 29(10), 1408–1418.

Contact details

Dr Bryan Lim
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Sociology
University of York
YO10 5GD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 1068