1st Edition

Plagues and Epidemics
Infected Spaces Past and Present

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ISBN 9781847885470
Published April 1, 2010 by Routledge
416 Pages

USD $45.95

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Book Description

Until recently, plagues were thought to belong in the ancient past. Now there are deep worries about global pandemics. This book presents views from anthropology about this much publicized and complex problem. The authors take us to places where epidemics are erupting, waning, or gone, and to other places where they have not yet arrived, but where a frightening story line is already in place. They explore public health bureaucracies and political arenas where the power lies to make decisions about what is, and is not, an epidemic. They look back into global history to uncover disease trends and look ahead to a future of expanding plagues within the context of climate change. The chapters are written from a range of perspectives, from the science of modeling epidemics to the social science of understanding them. Patterns emerge when people are engulfed by diseases labeled as epidemics but which have the hallmarks of plague. There are cycles of shame and blame, stigma, isolation of the sick, fear of contagion, and end-of-the-world scenarios. Plague, it would seem, is still among us.

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsList of Contributors1 Plagues and Epidemics in Anthropological PerspectiveD. Ann Herring, McMaster University, Canada, and Alan C. Swedlund, University ofMassachusetts, Amherst2 Ecosyndemics: Global Warming and the Coming Plaguesof the Twenty-first CenturyMerrill Singer, University of Connecticut3 Pressing Plagues: On the Mediated Communicability ofEpidemicsCharles L. Briggs, University ofCalifornia, Berkeley4 On Creating Epidemics, Plagues, and Other WartimeAlarums and Excursions: Enumerating versus EstimatingCivilian Mortality in IraqJames Trostle, Trinity College, Connecticut5 Avian Influenza and the Third Epidemiological TransitionRon Barrett, Macalester College6 Deconstructing an Epidemic: Cholera in GibraltarLawrence A. Sawchuk, University of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada7 The End of a Plague? Tuberculosis in New ZealandJudith Littleton, University ofAuckland, Julie Park, University of Auckland, and Linda Bryder, University of Auckland8 Epidemics and Time: Influenza and Tuberculosis duringand after the 1918-1919 PandemicAndrew Noymer, University of California, Irvine, and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria9 Everyday Mortality in the Time of Plague: OrdinaryPeople in Massachusetts before and during the 1918Influenza EpidemicAlan C. Swedlund, University of Massachusetts, Amherst10 The Coming Plague of Avian InfluenzaD. Ann Herring and Stacy Lockerbie, McMaster University, Canada11 Past into Present: History and the Making of Knowledgeabout HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal PeopleMary-Ellen Kelm, Simon Fraser University, Canada12 Accounting for Epidemics: Mathematical Modeling andAnthropologySteven M. Goodreau, University of Washington13 Social Inequalities and Dengue Transmission in LatinAmericaArachu Castro, Harvard University, Yasmin Khawja, Yeshiva University, USA, and James Johnston, University of British Columbia, Canada14 From Plague, an Epidemic Comes: Recounting Disease asContamination and ConfigurationWarwick Anderson, University of Sydney15 Making Plagues Visible: Yellow Fever, Hookworm, andChagas' Disease, 1900-1950Ilana Lowy, CNRS Paris16 Metaphors of Malaria Eradication in Cold War MexicoMarcos Cueto, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia17 "Steady with Custom": Mediating HIV Prevention in theTrobriand Islands, Papua New GuineaKatherine Lepani, Australian National University18 Explaining Kuru: Three Ways to Think about an EpidemicShirley Lindenbaum, City University of New YorkReferencesIndex

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D. Ann Herring is Professor of Anthropology at McMaster University, Canada. Alan C. Swedlund is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Interesting collection of nineteen essays ... admirably supported by cited literature that is largely scholarly but also includes articles in the popular press. - The Biologist