1st Edition

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

Edited By Micol Seigel Copyright 2018
    326 Pages
    by Routledge

    326 Pages
    by Routledge

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    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.


    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


    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).