Lectures

On the Search for the Origins of COVID-19: A Forum

This article is part of the series:

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the origin of the virus causing the disease remains uncertain. The predominant theory is that its emergence in human populations was the result of zoonotic transmission, via an as-yet to be determined animal host. A competing (if still marginal) theory holds that a more likely source of the initial outbreak was an …

Lectures

From Bat Soup to Bean Sprouts: Coronavirus Food Fears in Historical Perspective

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On a trip to Shandong, China, at the end of January 2020, a few days after the lockdown of Wuhan, I watched a video of a stewed bat on Douyin – the Chinese video-sharing app. The bat sat in a bowl of soup, its boiled skin drawn back across its face to reveal its teeth, almost as if maliciously grinning. …

Lectures

The politics of Amphibiosis: the war against viruses will not take place

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“We are at war.” This was Emmanuel Macron’s chosen refrain when he addressed the French nation about the current COVID-19 pandemic. He is certainly not the first to present human/pathogenic microbe relations in this way. Indeed, the history of immunology and epidemiology is littered with the vocabulary of war. But this presidential rhetoric reveals a certain communication strategy based on …

Books

Centering the Experience of Hepatitis C Infection and Treatment through Graphic Ethnography in The Virus

The Virus

Aleksandra Bartoszko and Marcin Ponomarew

Project Supported by Foreningen for Human Narkotikapolitikk (FHN) and Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial 4.0 International License. 2016. 48 pages.

The Virus (2016), a graphic ethnography written by social anthropologist Aleksandra Bartoszko and drawn by Marcin Ponomarew, begins with a not uncommon insight from people who inject drugs and …

Features

Thinking pain

Care worker Annika announces that she does not want to go to Mr Moran. “He always complains.” “I’ll go”, says her colleague Robin, and turning to me he says, “I don’t have the intern today so you can come along if you want to see for yourself how it goes”. We head off to assemble the materials for the morning …

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