Features

“I Didn’t Want to Be One of the Contaminated People”: Confronting a Mystery Illness in a Rural American Landscape

A small-town high school in western New York became the focus of news media attention from late 2011 to early 2012. Nearly two dozen teens and one adult, all but one female, exhibited spasmodic movements and vocalizations with no easily detectable cause. The outbreak provoked a cascade of conflicts, leaving them largely unresolved even as the symptoms subsided and life …