Books

The limits of medical heroism: reflections on Getting to Zero

Getting to Zero: A Doctor and a Diplomat on the Ebola Frontline

By Sinead Walsh and Oliver Johnson

Zed Books, 2018. 352 pages.

It is midnight and my five-month-old son, who has been sick with diarrhea for two days, is finally breathing evenly beside me. I should be sleeping. Instead, I am fretting, turning over  the intimate logics of medical responses to …

Books

Andrew Lakoff’s Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency

Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency

Andrew Lakoff

University of California Press, 2017. 240 pages.

 

Let us be frank: it is hard to think preparedness in the medical humanities without thinking of Andrew Lakoff. Over the ten years since the publication of his first piece on the subject (2007), Lakoff has developed, expanded and refined the critical …

Features

Messianic Medicine: Treating Disease in the Time that is Left

This article is part of the series:

In “The Time that Is Left”, Giorgio Agamben sketches the problem of messianic time. He writes that the messianic is “not the end of time, but the time of the end. (…) the time that is left between time and its ending” (Agamben 2002, 2). In the following article, I want to take his reflection on messianic time as a …

Features

Untimely Ends and the Pandemic Imaginary

This article is part of the series:

It was one of those typical late spring afternoons in Beijing, when the desert sand blowing from the North begins to give way to an electric atmosphere more pregnant with thunder than rain. Seated on a covered leather-armchair, I tried to concentrate my attention away from the rasp of the polyethene sheet under me and repeat the question: So what …

Features

Never Ending Stories: Narrating Frozen Evidence of Infectious Epidemics Past

This article is part of the series:

Early Elegy: Smallpox
by Claudia Emerson

  • The world has certified itself rid of
  • all but the argument: to eradicate or not
  • the small stock of variola frozen,
  • quarantined—a dormancy it has
  • refused, just once, for a woman behind a sterile
  • lens, her glass slide a clearest, most
  • becoming pane. How could it resist slipping
  • away with her, that discrete first