Abstract

ABSTRACT:

In 1989, a group of US government scientists invented the concept of Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs), a framing of contagion preoccupied with unknowable, but always possible, ever-present future biological catastrophes. Public health efforts around the world have since placed an emphasis on the project of managing uncertain microbial futures. Within the United States, an emergent mode of nationhood has surfaced through this project, what this article calls “pathogenic nation-making”—the forging of national solidarity through the affects of everyday anxiety and precarity. Whereas much humanistic scholarship has emphasized the role of representation in such endeavors, this article documents how media and media ecologies—in their capacity to implicate representations, media, objects discourses, and practices within one network—play a crucial role in mobilizing a collective affect of everyday uncertainty around that project.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6520
Print ISSN
1063-1801
Pages
pp. 441-470
Launched on MUSE
2016-12-20
Open Access
No
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