FeaturesLectures

9/11 and Beyond: Our World of Toxic Exposure/COVID-19 Syndemics

For the last 25 years, in my work as an applied medical anthropologist, I have called attention to and explored syndemics, the biosocial adverse interaction of two or more diseases and the social conditions of the local or regional context in which they occur. The study of syndemics offers a way to address both health risks and unjust and …

FeaturesLectures

Infrastructures of inequality: Caring tweets, public health, and COVID-19 in Delhi

One tweet asks for help finding a hospital bed in Delhi, India’s capital. Another asks where to find oxygen. These tweets joined a sea of similar pleas for assistance over social media amidst India’s second-wave surge of COVID-19 in the spring of 2021, which led to oxygen and hospital bed shortages across the country. People tweeted asking for help for …

Lectures

Intersections of Political Power, Religion, and Public Health in Africa: Covid-19, Tanzanian President Magufuli, and Nigerian Prophet T. B. Joshua

This article is part of the series:

This is the final piece in the Contested Truths series, which has been edited by Jia Hui Lee, Laura A. Meek, and Jacob Katumusiime Mwine-Kyarimpa. This series analyzes the manufacturing, circulation, and interpretation of contested truths over Covid-19 in Africa, including the ways in which official, institutional, and/or scientific facts and recommendations about COVID-19 are challenged, ignored, or subverted

Lectures

The Limit of Defense: Life in a Taiwanese Military Training Center during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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On the morning of 23rd February 2021, I boarded a bus from my home in northern Taiwan to a nearby military training center. There I joined another four hundred draftees for our compulsory military service in the Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces – or simply Guojun (“national army”). Along with the other draftees, I was first given a …

Lectures

Surviving COVID-19

This article is part of the series:

Survival. Perhaps the word carries more weight today than ever. We are all engaged in this exercise of collective survival. Many of us have found ourselves forced to become accustomed to the unwelcome novelty of the burden of extreme uncertainty. And it is only now that we can understand what it means to live in vulnerability. We now found ourselves …

Lectures

The Social Potential of Continuing to Wear Masks

This article is part of the series:

We are often told that anti-epidemic masks should not be politicised. Though often well intentioned, this admonition falls short of taking masks seriously as social and historical objects. For, in assuming these to be inherently neutral prophylactic devices whose politicisation is simply an epiphenomenon, this narrative fails to understand and acknowledge that the historical institution of anti-epidemic masks has been …