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Lectures

Writing Life No. 2: An interview with Adia Benton

This article is part of the following series:

Figure 1: Adia’s writing space

“A special thanks to all the elders who ever told me to learn to be still. Research need not be running around in an effort to apprehend information. It can sometimes be accomplished by being still and comprehending. By climbing into my chair and working, a lot of things came my way via the phone,

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Features

Border Promiscuity, Illicit Intimacies, and Origin Stories: Or what Contagion’s Bookends Tell us About New Infectious Diseases and a Racialized Geography of Blame

The first scene of the 2011 film, Contagion, opens with a black screen and ambient airport noise. A woman coughs. As the screen fades from black to reveal a darkened airport bar, a caption in red, located at the bottom of the screen, reads “Day 2.” Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) shoves shelled peanuts into her mouth and wipes the …

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Features

Respect, care, and labor in collaborative scholarly projects

As members of Somatosphere’s Editorial Collaborative, we have been following the unfolding crisis surrounding Hau with profound concern (Agro 2018, Flaherty 2018). As others have noted, this crisis has revealed multiple structural issues that deserve intense engagement beyond the specifics of the individual case: open-access (OA), digital scholarship and publication, yes, but also academic power, precarity, and vulnerability;

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Books

On the Uses of Time

In The Viral Network, MacPhail tells her readers that “one cannot talk about biology without recourse to geography” (77). She also makes the case — albeit less pointedly — that one cannot talk about geography or biology without recourse to time and temporality. This connection comes into focus in MacPhail’s account of Hong Kong as a post-colonial space (itself …

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Features

Race and the immuno-logics of Ebola response in West Africa

This article is part of the following series:

On September 14, 2014, I woke up to the news that a fourth Sierra Leonean doctor, Dr. Olivet Buck, had died after having treated patients with Ebola. By then, there had been nearly 2,300 confirmed deaths, with about 150 of them being health care workers at the front line of the epidemic. All Ebola deaths are tragic, and many of …

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