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.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments List of Contributors 1 Plagues and Epidemics in Anthropological Perspective D. Ann Herring, McMaster University, Canada, and Alan C. Swedlund, University ofMassachusetts, Amherst 2 Ecosyndemics: Global Warming and the Coming Plaguesof the Twenty-first Century Merrill Singer, University of Connecticut 3 Pressing Plagues: On the Mediated Communicability ofEpidemics Charles L. Briggs, University ofCalifornia, Berkeley 4 On Creating Epidemics, Plagues, and Other WartimeAlarums and Excursions: Enumerating versus EstimatingCivilian Mortality in Iraq James Trostle, Trinity College, Connecticut 5 Avian Influenza and the Third Epidemiological Transition Ron Barrett, Macalester College 6 Deconstructing an Epidemic: Cholera in Gibraltar Lawrence A. Sawchuk, University of Toronto, Scarborough, Canada 7 The End of a Plague? Tuberculosis in New Zealand Judith Littleton, University ofAuckland, Julie Park, University of Auckland, and Linda Bryder, University of Auckland 8 Epidemics and Time: Influenza and Tuberculosis duringand after the 1918-1919 Pandemic Andrew Noymer, University of California, Irvine, and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria 9 Everyday Mortality in the Time of Plague: OrdinaryPeople in Massachusetts before and during the 1918Influenza Epidemic Alan C. Swedlund, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 10 The Coming Plague of Avian Influenza D. Ann Herring and Stacy Lockerbie, McMaster University, Canada 11 Past into Present: History and the Making of Knowledgeabout HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal People Mary-Ellen Kelm, Simon Fraser University, Canada 12 Accounting for Epidemics: Mathematical Modeling andAnthropology Steven M. Goodreau, University of Washington 13 Social Inequalities and Dengue Transmission in LatinAmerica Arachu Castro, Harvard University, Yasmin Khawja, Yeshiva University, USA, and James Johnston, University of British Columbia, Canada 14 From Plague, an Epidemic Comes: Recounting Disease asContamination and Configuration Warwick Anderson, University of Sydney 15 Making Plagues Visible: Yellow Fever, Hookworm, andChagas' Disease, 1900-1950 Ilana Lowy, CNRS Paris 16 Metaphors of Malaria Eradication in Cold War Mexico Marcos Cueto, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia 17 "Steady with Custom": Mediating HIV Prevention in theTrobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea Katherine Lepani, Australian National University 18 Explaining Kuru: Three Ways to Think about an Epidemic Shirley Lindenbaum, City University of New York References Index