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Lectures

The Limit of Defense: Life in a Taiwanese Military Training Center during the COVID-19 Pandemic

On the morning of 23rd February 2021, I boarded a bus from my home in northern Taiwan to a nearby military training center. There I joined another four hundred draftees for our compulsory military service in the Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces – or simply Guojun (“national army”). Along with the other draftees, I was first given a …

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Lectures

‘Silicon health’ for Africa: Understanding the rise and impact of drone logistics

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, are on the rise. During the ongoing corona crisis their potential to either monitor curfews or to provide contactless deliveries is increasingly featured in various media outlets and discussed in policy circles.[1] A focus on health-related issues harkens back to earlier attempts to render drones – a military technology – productive …

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Lectures

Enlisted Laborers of Public Health: overlaps in the work of soldiers in historical perspective

This article is part of the following series:

In April, a friend relayed her experience of getting a test for COVID-19 at a drive-through site at a university in Rhode Island, describing “dozens of camouflaged National Guard soldiers directing grim-faced drivers.” After more than 12 days of persistent fever and two conversations with her doctor, she reported as instructed, alone in her car, and held her ID up …

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Features

Acting Fatally on the Strength of the Martial Metaphor

George Eliot’s narrator in The Mill on the Floss (1860) reminds us that it is lamentable “that intelligence so rarely shows itself in speech without metaphor – that we can so seldom declare what a thing is, except by saying it is something else.”

But accuracy is not really the problem; it goes without saying that language is limited in …

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Features

Colonial Wound, (Re)Infected: Pandemic in the Andes

Peru’s first case of coronavirus was imported via Spain, where an obliviously infected young man had picked it up on his Euro-travels and smuggled the virus through Lima’s Jorge Chavez International airport, hidden deep within his respiratory system. Yet, this may be a novel virus for the world, but the imposition of epidemic and ruin from a Spanish culprit in …

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Books

Zoë Wool’s “After War: The Weight of Life At Walter Reed”

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After War: The Weight of Life At Walter Reed

by Zoë Wool

Duke University Press, 2015, 264 pages.

In After War: The Weight of Life At Walter Reed, Zoë Wool shares her experience working with some of the most grievously wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During a year of research from 2007-2008, Wool conducted fieldwork …

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