Book Forum — Richard Keller’s Fatal Isolation

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Richard Keller’s Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003 is a careful accounting of the toll the heat wave took on those most vulnerable in the neighborhoods surrounding Paris.  The book is about the shape of vulnerability and its amplification over time — in fact, Fatal Isolation requires us to pause on the ideas of risk, vulnerability, …


Limn issue no. 5: Ebola’s Ecologies

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FrontCover6-220x284We’d like to help spread the word about the recent issue of Limn, edited by Andrew Lakoff, Stephen J. Collier and Christopher Kelty, now in print.

From the editors:

“This issue of Limn on “Ebola’s Ecologies” examines how the 2014 Ebola outbreak has put the norms, practices, and institutional logics of global health into question, and examines the new assemblages …


Epidemics and Xenophobia

In June 2015 The Bellagio Task Force on Epidemics and Xenophobia met to discuss the resurgence of xenophobia across the globe—one most recently prompted by fearful and unsympathetic responses to the Ebola epidemic and those afflicted communities and healthcare workers who returned home. The problem of xenophobia is however part of a much larger and pernicious problem, one that falls


Caring as existential insecurity: quarantine, care, and human insecurity in the Ebola crisis

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In August of this year, when the Ebola outbreak escalated in Liberia and a state of emergency had been declared for the country, Fatu Kekula, a young Liberian nursing student, improvised personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for her father, mother, sister, and cousin. After three of the relatives survived, her method was featured prominently in the international news media …

In the Journals

The Lancet Commission on Culture and Health

Recently, A. David Napier and colleagues published their executive summary from The Lancet Commission on Culture and Health (The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9954, pp. 1607-1639, 1 November 2014). 
They write:

This Commission is the first ever detailed appraisal of the role of culture in health, bringing together voices from different fields, including anthropologists, social scientists, and …


Race and the immuno-logics of Ebola response in West Africa

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On September 14, 2014, I woke up to the news that a fourth Sierra Leonean doctor, Dr. Olivet Buck, had died after having treated patients with Ebola. By then, there had been nearly 2,300 confirmed deaths, with about 150 of them being health care workers at the front line of the epidemic. All Ebola deaths are tragic, and many of …