Introduction: “Translating Vitalities: Spacecraft(ing)”

This article is part of the series:

Medical practice treats the body as an active field. Growth, pathology, healing, immune response, digestion, atrophy, arousal, pain, panic – none of these organic processes is stable, fixed, or indeed ‘a thing’; yet, they are all objects of interest for medicine. Medical intervention, whether it takes the form of an antibiotic or an acupuncture treatment, interrupts a flow of causes …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: How Do You Feel Today?

New Facebook reactions, the expansion of “like” options to include “love,” “sad” and “angry” emoticons (among others), is just one way affect has collided with technology this month. Zuckerberg and co. collaborated with the Greater Good Science Center team to produce “scientifically faithful” icons. No longer must you experience your feelings bounded within the body; instead, Facebook …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: What Are You Afraid Of?

With Halloween just days away, October’s roundup will look at some of the macabre and spooky insights the web had to offer this month. Fear being a sensory experience–a pounding heart, shortness of breath, sweaty palms and vision problems are among the physiological markings of fear–it’s no surprise that science, medicine and the media valiantly make attempts each year to …


Notes from Case Zero: Anthropology in the time of Ebola

This article is part of the series:

The lead for a story on the Ebola outbreak is, by now, familiar: on the 22nd of March, the Guinean Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola, the first ever in the region. The virus has since spread through the countryside and across its borders: west to Sierra Leone, south to Liberia, and most recently, north into Senegal. Cases …


Gitelman’s Paper Knowledge and Kafka’s The Demon of Writing

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents
Duke University Press, 2012, 224 pages

by Lisa Gitelman


The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork
Zone Books, 2012, 208 pages

by Ben Kafka


Ben Kafka and Lisa Gitelman, colleagues at New York University, have both written books about the intricate nature of paper as a medium. While …


Anne Allison’s Precarious Japan

Precarious Japan

by Anne Allison

Duke University Press, 2013. 246 pages


The March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster in Northern Japan illuminated and deepened a sense of vulnerability for people across the nation that, as Anne Allison argues in Precarious Japan, significantly predated this “triple disaster.” Author of three other major books on the cultural …