Title

Managing Abnormality: The Politics of Epidemiology and the Public Health Response to Zika Virus

Abstract

My presentation investigates how epidemiological research in response to Zika Virus functions through national and international public health organizations to measure and manage abnormality. I bring together the scholarship on epidemiology with scholarship on national population governance to question how the historic practice of using science to justify the discrimination against disabled, non-white bodies and the regulation of reproductive bodies continues in new forms today. I argue that the fears that prompted the World Health Organization to declare Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern are deeply political. Yet, epidemiology helps to "depoliticize" the public health response by masquerading under the guise of objectivity. I address the regulation of reproductive bodies and the racialized and ableist messages that become normalized through the language of epidemiology.

Faculty Sponsor

Shampa Biswas

Tracks

Public Health

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Olin 138

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 4:15 PM Apr 11th, 4:30 PM

Managing Abnormality: The Politics of Epidemiology and the Public Health Response to Zika Virus

Olin 138

My presentation investigates how epidemiological research in response to Zika Virus functions through national and international public health organizations to measure and manage abnormality. I bring together the scholarship on epidemiology with scholarship on national population governance to question how the historic practice of using science to justify the discrimination against disabled, non-white bodies and the regulation of reproductive bodies continues in new forms today. I argue that the fears that prompted the World Health Organization to declare Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern are deeply political. Yet, epidemiology helps to "depoliticize" the public health response by masquerading under the guise of objectivity. I address the regulation of reproductive bodies and the racialized and ableist messages that become normalized through the language of epidemiology.

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