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Until recently, plagues were thought to belong in the ancient past. Now there are deep worries about global pandemics. This book presents views from anthropology about this much publicized and complex problem.
The authors take us to places where epidemics are erupting, waning, or gone, and to other places where they have not yet arrived, but where a frightening story line is already in place. They explore public health bureaucracies and political arenas where the power lies to make decisions about what is, and is not, an epidemic. They look back into global history to uncover disease trends and look ahead to a future of expanding plagues within the context of climate change.
The chapters are written from a range of perspectives, from the science of modeling epidemics to the social science of understanding them. Patterns emerge when people are engulfed by diseases labeled as epidemics but which have the hallmarks of plague. There are cycles of shame and blame, stigma, isolation of the sick, fear of contagion, and end-of-the-world scenarios. Plague, it would seem, is still among us.
About the Author
Ann Herring is Professor of Anthropology at McMaster University. Alan C. Swedlund is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vii
List of Contributors xi
1 Plagues and Epidemics in Anthropological Perspective D. Ann Herring Alan C. Swedlund 1
2 Ecosyndemics: Global Warming and the Coming Plagues of the Twenty-first Century Merrill Singer 21
3 Pressing Plagues: On the Mediated Communicability of Virtual Epidemics Charles L. Briggs 39
4 On Creating Epidemics, Plagues, and Other Wartime Alarums and Excursions: Enumerating versus Estimating Civilian Mortality in Iraq James Trostle 61
5 Avian Influenza and the Third Epidemiological Transition Ron Barrett 81
6 Deconstructing an Epidemic: Cholera in Gibraltar Lawrence A. Sawchuk 95
7 The End of a Plague? Tuberculosis in New Zealand Judith Littleton Julie Park Linda Bryder 119
8 Epidemics and Time: Influenza and Tuberculosis during and after the 1918-1919 Pandemic Andrew Noymer 137
9 Everyday Mortality in the Time of Plague: Ordinary People in Massachusetts before and during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic Alan C. Swedlund 153
10 The Coming Plague of Avian Influenza D. Ann Herring Stacy Lockerbie 179
11 Past into Present: History and the Making of Knowledge about HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal People Mary-Ellen Kelm 193
12 Accounting for Epidemics: Mathematical Modeling and Anthropology Steven M. Goodreau 213
13 Social Inequalities and Dengue Transmission in Latin America Arachu Castro Yasmin Khawja James Johnston 231
14 From Plague, an Epidemic Comes: Recounting Disease as Contamination and Configuration Warwick Anderson 251
15 Making Plagues Visible: Yellow Fever, Hookworm, and Chagas' Disease, 1900-1950 Ilana Löwy 269
16 Metaphors of Malaria Eradication in Cold War Mexico Marcos Cueto 287
17 "Steady with Custom": Mediating HIV Prevention in the Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea Katherine Lepani 305
18 Explaining Kuru: Three Ways to Think about an Epidemic Shirley Lindenbaum 323