Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the by Neel Ahuja

By Neel Ahuja

In Bioinsecurities Neel Ahuja argues that U.S. imperial enlargement has been formed by means of the makes an attempt of future health and army officers to regulate the interactions of people, animals, viruses, and micro organism on the borders of U.S. impression, a phenomenon referred to as the govt. of species. The publication explores efforts to manage the unfold of Hansen's disorder, venereal sickness, polio, smallpox, and HIV via interventions linking the continental usa to Hawai'i, Panamá, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Congo, Iraq, and India within the 20th and twenty-first centuries. Ahuja argues that racial fears of contagion helped to supply public optimism touching on country makes use of of prescribed drugs, scientific experimentation, army intervention, and incarceration to manage the immune capacities of the physique. within the procedure, the safety nation made the organic buildings of human and animal populations into websites of fight within the politics of empire, unleashing new sufferer activisms and sorts of resistance to scientific and armed forces authority around the more and more international sphere of U.S. impact.

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Additional info for Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the Government of Species

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This chapter suggests that sensational representations of native Hawaiian (Kānaka Maoli) susceptibility to the Hansen’s disease bacterium, such as Mouritz’s, channeled racial fears of colonial movements of labor, commodities, and settlement into an emergent government of species reliant on segregation of the ill. The technique of racial engulfment through quarantine in turn advertised the inevitable biological and political dependency of Hawaiians on the settler institutions of the US occupation.

Understanding this complexity connecting the public feelings of risk and security to various bodily systems requires particular methodological strategies. The chapters of this study often examine raced and gendered depictions of epidemic crises, detailing their uptake in particular state apparatuses or health institutions. In other moments, it is necessary to turn to phenomenologies of bacterial and viral migration to explain how racialized depictions of disease relate to particular bodily sites of transition and vulnerability that burnish public fear of contagion.

Because he fails to realize the danger that menaces him, apart even from the extreme receptivity of his system to the bacillus of leprosy, a condition lacking in other races domiciled in Hawaiʻi nei: this being an indisputable fact, then he (the Hawaiian) is the weak link in our chain of national health defense. —ALFRED A. MOURITZ, The Path of the Destroyer: A History of Leprosy in the Hawaiian Islands, 1916 Physician Alfred A. Mouritz, who had served for four years as the resident doctor at the Kalawao Hansen’s disease settlement on the Hawaiian island of Molokaʻi beginning in 1884, published a history of the disease’s impact on Hawaiʻi in 1916.

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