[CANCELLED] How to contain a virus
A Seminar with Dr. Edna Bonhomme
UPDATE: This event has unfortunately been cancelled.
Since the rise of Covid-19, confinement has had a complicated dynamic in how people understand the course of the epidemics, elevating new anxieties and fears about global movement. As the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus continues to increase in the Middle East with people expressing underreporting, unprecedented public health policies have reduced socialization and altered mobility within the region. Today, everyone is adjusting to a new era, one where most people have become hyper aware of microbial invasion with old and familiar tales of global health inequalities, science culture wars, embodiment, immunity, and the fight to breathe. This talk looks at how respiratory epidemics such as SARS and MERS play out in Egypt by exploring how apprehensions about contagion are tied to the carceral state since 2011. The paper meditates on the fear of contagion through the theory of containment with special attention to how the Egyptian state has worked through the latest coronavirus by showing the links between public health policies and the containment of dissidents over the past twenty years.
Dr. Edna Bonhomme is a Haitian American scholar, writer, and former biologist. She holds a PhD in the History of Science from Princeton University. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science where she is working on her book manuscript Ports and Pestilence in Alexandria, Tripoli, and Tunis which addresses the convergence of sanitary imperialism and traditional medicine during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to her book project, she is collaborating with Berlin –based artists and writers who are using decolonial methodologies and diachronic practices in order to upend uneven power dynamics in archives, pedagogy, and science.