Lectures

Memorializing Death in an Age of Mass Mortality: Keywords of Covid-19

How do we remember death when it constitutes our landscape? In an age of ubiquitous mortality—not only pandemic deaths, but also deaths from meteorological disasters, deaths of migrants seeking refuge from their war-torn homes, and the more banal declines in life expectancy in broad swaths of the United States—what kinds of death do we memorialize, and what kinds do we …

Lectures

Viral Waste, or Covid Down the Toilet: Post-Colonic Pandemic Biopolitics

This article is part of the series:

Within days of discovering SARS-CoV-2, laboratory scientists and epidemiologists were speculating on whether the virus might take fecal passage, and thereby spread through contamination with bodily waste. But the fecal-oral route of transmission quickly proved a dead end, an etiological cul-de-sac. The pressure to inquire into shit, however, is always difficult to resist. Before long, experts in wastewater …

Lectures

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 …

Lectures

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

By

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 …

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