Panic, Transnational Cultural Studies, and the Affective Contours of Power: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Panic, Transnational Cultural Studies, and the Affective Contours of Power

1st Edition

Edited by Micol Seigel


310 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138483477
pub: 2018-06-26
SAVE ~$30.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351054744
pub: 2018-07-04
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This volume explores the panic that is a central affective register of our current international order. Fears of Somali pirates, "Gypsy" kidnappers, African warlords, Ebola, "Mexican meth," pimps, coyotes, gangs, climate refugees and more, structure the dark side of a metropolitan unconscious. These are terrors over things that (might) cross borders, threatening the sanctity of territoriality and capital. Inspired by scholarship challenging panics around human and sex trafficking, the contributors to this volume develop the umbrella category of the global moral panic. Embracing the challenge of grasping a phenomenon not previously regarded as cohering, they consider panics provoked by travel, passage, transgression; panics over bodies that move. Like panics over trafficking, the episodes narrated here ride and feed a field of common sense regarding crime, rights, and state power. Their logics of victims and villains nourish notions of the centrality of punishment, drawing from and feeding taxonomies of gender, race, and nation, solidifying the order craved by capital. They spotlight the coloniality of power, the ongoing salience of empire, the savior logics of rescue, and the profound sexism organizing hierarchies of bodies and places. Panic, this volume diagnoses, is a crucial, undertheorized facet of contemporary local-global relations.

Table of Contents


List of Figures and Captions

List of Contributors

Introduction, Micol Seigel

Part I. The Coloniality of Panic

Chapter 1: Privateers and Public Ends: Piracy as Global Moral Panic- Jatin Dua

Chapter 2: Moral Panic versus Moral Blindness: Responses to Children’s Militarization in Uganda and the US- Michelle Moyd, Frances M. Clarke, and Rebecca Jo Plant

Chapter 3: Ebola: Keywords- Adia Benton

Chapter 4: A Panicky Atmosphere: On the Coloniality of Climate Change- Alex Chambers

Chapter 5: The Panic over Human Smuggling: From the Nineteenth Century Coolie Trade to Today’s Migrants- Elliott Young

Part II. Too Mobile: Panic at the Borders

Chapter 6: Rescuing the Blonde Angel: The Global Captivity Narrative and the Panic of 2013- Susan Lepselter

Chapter 7: The Everywhere Drug War: Narcoterror and the Global Flows of the Methamphetamine Imaginary- Travis Linnemann and Kyra Martinez

Chapter 8: Black Bodies, Wrong Places: Rolezinho, Moral Panic, and Racialized Male Subjects in Brazil- Osmundo Pinho

Chapter 9: Circulating Sin: Sailors and Benevolence in Early Nineteenth-Century New York- Dana Logan

Chapter 10: Transnational Securityscapes: Central American (Immigrant) Youth and the ‘Military Option’- Elana Zilberg,

Part III. Resisting Rescue: Sex/Work

Chapter 11: Stop the Woman, Save the State: Policing, Order, and the Black Woman’s Body- Rudo Mudiwa

Chapter 12: Modern-Day Slavery: The Analogy Problem in Human Trafficking Reform- Julietta Hua

Chapter 13: Saving Love: Compassion, Desire, Violence, and Deceit in Late Capitalism- Courtney Mitchel

Chapter 14: And Still We Rise’: Moral Panics, Dark Sousveillance, and Politics Otherwise in the New New Orleans- Laura McTighe

About the Editor

Micol Seigel is professor of American Studies and History at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the author of Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police (Duke University Press, 2018) and Uneven Encounters: Making Race and Nation in Brazil and the United States (Duke, 2009).

About the Series

Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies

Cultural and media studies are now well-established as important academic disciplines and are inspiring new research into a wide range of pertinent issues. This series presents outstanding research in these subjects, helping to shape the direction of future inquiry.


To submit a proposal for this series, please contact:
Suzanne Richardson, Commissioning Editor for Media, Cultural and Communication Studies
[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies