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Health, Fear, Sovereignty

Bruce Magnusson

Publication Year: 2012

Essays examine the language of epidemiology used in the war on terror, the repressive effects of global disease surveillance, and films and novels that enact the perplexities of contagion in a global context.

Published by: University of Washington Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-ix

This volume emerged out of the Global Studies Symposium on Contagion held at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, on February 27, 2010. Organized by the Global Studies Initiative, the symposium was developed to stimulate an interdisciplinary conversation on a topic of contemporary...

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Introduction: The Hydra of Contagion

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pp. 3-24

Governments, scientists, politicians, doctors, law enforcement officials, journalists, gadflies, and others periodically alert us to potential devastation, potential catastrophe, an imminent moment of life and death resulting from a successful virus, whether the SARS virus of 2003 or...

1. Rethinking the War on Terror: New Approaches to Conflict Prevention and Management in the Post-9/11 World

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pp. 25-43

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2. Epidemic Intelligence: Toward a Genealogy of Global Health Security

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pp. 44-70

This chapter considers how public health authorities respond to the threat of contagion in a period of widespread concern about newly emerging diseases that can spread rapidly across borders and wreak havoc on both global health and global economies. The goal of the chapter...

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3. The Aesthetic Emergency of the Avian Flu Affect

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pp. 71-98

The recent film Chicken Little presents an interesting twist on a classic childhood fable. Disney rewrites the story of a chicken that believed the sky was falling when in fact it was not; only an acorn had fallen. Instead of being a variation on the story about the boy who cried “wolf,” Disney’s new...

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4. Bio Terror: Hybridity in the Biohorror Narrative, or What We Can Learn from Our Monsters

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pp. 99-122

Nothing has prepared the narrator protagonist of Jonathan Maberry’s Patient Zero for the experience of killing people who seem to be the kind of people he would expect to encounter in a supermarket — “a middle-aged woman with lank blond hair and a stained housedress . . . a young...

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5. Contagion, Contamination, and Don DeLillo’s Post–Cold War World-System: Steps toward a Haptical Theory of Culture

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pp. 123-148

Anything but an aseptic proposition, culture originates and thrives in vivo. As we realize with unprecedented clarity today, “our” culture comes about heteronomously, alongside and across other bodies of culture. In all actuality, the problem of culture, no matter how immune to its outside...

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6. Contagion of Intellectual Traditions in Post-9/11 Novels

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pp. 149-173

Judith Butler’s 2004 essay collection Precarious Life opens with a clear and strong condemnation of post-9/11 censorship and anti-intellectualism. In relation to Butler’s suggestive hypotheses, this chapter explores the ways in which two post-9/11 fiction works in prose try to comment on...


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pp. 175-187

Notes on Contributors

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pp. 189-191


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pp. 193-202

E-ISBN-13: 9780295804200
E-ISBN-10: 0295804203
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295991733
Print-ISBN-10: 0295991747

Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 811563696
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Contagion

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Bioterrorism -- Congresses.
  • Bioterrorism -- Health aspects -- Congresses.
  • Disaster medicine -- Congresses.
  • Terrorism -- Prevention -- Congresses.
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