Features

Ebola 2014. Chronicle of a well-prepared disaster

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A French version of this piece was originally published in Libération on 18 September 2014.

 

“It is useless to laboriously interpret disaster movies in terms of their relation to an ‘objective’ social crisis or even to an ‘objective’ phantasm of disaster,” wrote Jean Baudrillard in 1981. “It is in another sense that (…) it is the social itself that, …

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From the dragon’s perspective: an initial report on China’s response to the unfolding Ebola epidemic

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Mariatu

On a steamy mid-August afternoon, Mariatu Kargbo, a Sierra Leonian expat residing in Beijing, stood at the front of a packed hotel ballroom. As reported by Xinhua News (新华网), Kargbo addressed the crowd, saying:

I know everyone has come because they would like to support us, but I really didn’t know that today so many people would come, thank you

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Tolerance

“Tolerance” never made it into Raymond Williams’ Keywords, a rare mistake: it should have been a tempting subject for his critical sensibility.[1] By the late-eighteenth century, the word often had come to substitute in English for the older “toleration,” meaning forbearance, patience, and indulgence of the opinions of others. Later, physiologists took up its connotation of the endurance …

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Against Sick States: Ebola Protests in Austerity Spain

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A few months ago, the independent Spanish online newspaper El Diario published a cartoon entitled “Ebola in Madrid”. It showed a health worker, camouflaged in a green protection suit, wearing a white head shield and goggles, leaning over a patient almost completely hidden under the sheets of the hospital bed. The huge hospital room is deserted and empty, …

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Persistent pathogen: A conference report of anthropological research on tuberculosis

Dirlikov_WTD Image_Somatosphere(1)

The 2013 World TB Day theme was “Stop TB in my lifetime,” calling attention to both the goal of virtually eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2050, as well as the Stop TB Partnership, established in 2000, through which global antituberculosis activities are coordinated. Despite this valiant slogan, tuberculosis control is at an important crossroads. In 2012, there were an estimated …

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Conference Synopsis: The End of biodetermism? New Directions for Medical Anthropology

End of Biodeterminism

What is biodeterminism? Has it ended and did it ever exist? Earlier this month at Aarhus University, these seemingly straightforward questions resulted in three days of fascinating conversation during a conference titled “The End of biodetermism? New Directions for Medical Anthropology.”  The event, co-organized by the Centre for Cultural Epidemics (EPICENTER), the Interacting Minds Centre for the Study of