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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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Web Roundups

Web Roundup: How War, Not a Pandemic, Became America’s New Normal

This article is part of the following series:

The US was not prepared for a pandemic, but it was prepared for war. When President Trump declared a national state of emergency on March 13, 2020, he transformed the coronavirus from a “hoax” into an “invisible enemy.” In his daily press conferences, President Trump has repeatedly and explicitly announced the United States’ war against the virus. Similarly, in the …

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Lectures

The politics of Amphibiosis: the war against viruses will not take place

This article is part of the following series:

“We are at war.” This was Emmanuel Macron’s chosen refrain when he addressed the French nation about the current COVID-19 pandemic. He is certainly not the first to present human/pathogenic microbe relations in this way. Indeed, the history of immunology and epidemiology is littered with the vocabulary of war. But this presidential rhetoric reveals a certain communication strategy based on …

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Books

The Human Body on the Verge of Collapse

The Human Body in the Age of Catastrophe: Brittleness, Integration, Science, and the Great War

Stefanos Geroulanos and Todd Meyers

University of Chicago Press, 2018. 416 pages.

1.

What is the 21st century body if not endlessly open, changeable, and porous? Genes interact with each other and with the environment from the prenatal period through life. The mother´s diet …

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Books Features

The Spectral Wound and New Lines of Flight: A Reply

One late October morning in 2015, my phone rang and I got a “missed call” (a call where the caller hangs up before the receiver can answer as a way of establishing a pre-agreed decision, in my case being that I needed to call back) from Moyna’s daughter. The Spectral Wound had just been published. I rang back right away …

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Books Features

The Grains of Experience

The Spectral Wound is one of the most sensitive, subtle, and thought-provoking anthropological texts on sexual violence in the context of war (Mookherjee 2015). I have already expressed my admiration in the foreword to the book for its nuanced rendering of the interplay between the national imperative to memorialize, the desire for justice on the part of human rights advocacy …

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