States, Bodies & Epidemics

This website is a complement to the course (ANSO 325) States, Bodies, and Epidemics at Kalamazoo College. This upper-level course taught by Prof. Adriana Garriga-Lopez of the Anthropology and Sociology Department examines epidemics as events that reveal the interwoven aspects of state power, bodily regimes and formations, and global medical governmentality.  Students will become familiarized with significant anthropological and sociological studies and theories of contagion and epidemic disease.  Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which epidemics threaten notions of national integrity or ‘wholeness,’ especially through the 21st century frame of ‘national security’.  Transnational flows and the movement of persons and things across national and regional contexts is highlighted by such insecurities, and this course will look at the racializing, gendered, and classed tropes that inform discourse on national security, migration, integrity, as well as both the real and perceived threats posed by emergent or potential outbreaks and epidemics.  This course will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the historical and philosophical genealogy of social and state responses to epidemics, the politicized representations (visual, written, media, etc.) of such epidemics and of state responses to epidemics, as well as familiarize students with key works in theories of the state, theories of the body and embodiment, and social analyses of communicable disease events through the framework of critical medical and political anthropology. 

Blog posts about this class