189 002: Special Topics in Social/Cultural Anthropology: Between Old Fears and New Viruses

Instructor: Clara Mantini-Briggs

Term: Summer 2019 Session: A

TimeM, T, W, Th 2:00pm - 3:59pm

Since 1976, Ebola has been epidemiologically “contained” in Africa but proliferated in the U.S. media. The epidemic that began in 2014 produced only sporadic attention until U.S. healthcare professionals contracted the disease—and especially when their bodies “imported” infections into Europe and the United States. Ebola’s mediated visibility contrasts with some of the fastest growing diseases worldwide—dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and Rabies. This course traces convergences between epidemic and other metaxenic (vector-borne) diseases, the populations they “plague,” and species, such as pesky mosquitos, and rabid animals that rapidly transforming viruses, connections increasingly define perceptions of racial, ethnic, and class difference. 

Service category