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Burying the dead in times of pandemic
Diane O’Donoghue

Both historical and contemporary records of mass contagion provide occasions for visibility to persons who otherwise remain little recognised and even less studied: those who bury the dead. While global reports attest to self-advocacy among cemetery workers in the current COVID-19 pandemic, the psychological complexities of their labour go virtually unseen. Findings on the experiences of those doing such work reveal a striking contrast. While societal disavowal often renders their task as abject and forgettable, those who inter the remains frequently report affective connections to the dead that powerfully, and poignantly, undermine this erasure. Acknowledging such empathic relationality allows us to look at this profession in areas where it has never been considered, such as psychoanalytic work on ‘mentalisation’ or in contemporary ethics. The article concludes with an example from the accounts of those who have buried the dead in the massed graves on New York’s Hart Island.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
What Lessons Can Be Drawn from Case Studies in France, the United States and Madagascar?
Hugo Carnell

then bites a human ( World Health Organization, 2017 ). Once infection has taken place, the bacteria colonise the closest lymph gland, leading to the two key symptoms: painful round gland swellings known as buboes and dark-coloured bruises on the skin caused by internal haemorrhaging ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020b ). Bubonic plague is fatal when untreated in about 50–70 per cent of cases, but this rate drops to 10–15 per cent with treatment

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An epidemiological 'iron curtain'?
Sabine Jesner

knowledge, health care was regulated in more detail to improve the health of the inhabitants. This marked the beginning of a comprehensive medicalization of the population. One element of these sanitary innovations was the establishment of specific quarantine facilities as permanent institutions on the Habsburg Military Border in southeastern Europe. These quarantine facilities 3 ( Contumaz in contemporaneous German) served as a health bulwark against bubonic plague and will be a focal point of interest in this chapter. These facilities were constructed to offer a

in Medicalising borders
Rosemary Horrox

contaminate abrasions in the host’s skin. In either case the result is bubonic plague, which derives its name from the characteristic buboes, or swellings. When the bacilli have entered the human body they are carried by the lymphatic system to the regional lymph node nearest the site of infection, where the bacilli multiply, forming large colonies

in The Black Death
Abstract only
Martin Yuille
Bill Ollier

between these conditions and the epidemics or plagues that decimated populations in the past? Why ‘plague’ is the right word Our way of life today is inflicting enormous harm on our species. The extent of this harm is so great that it is reminiscent of past times of the ‘Black Death’ of the fourteenth century and the ‘Great Plague’ of the seventeenth century. Back then, humanity could plead ignorance in its failure to prevent bubonic plagues or other infections. Even as late as the last century, when the influenza pandemic killed millions after World War One, a plea

in Saving sick Britain
Abstract only
Hong Kong, 1894 and Cape Town, 1901
Mary Preston Sutphen

suddenly from fever and dysentery, and that many houses had been abandoned by people, who had left for their native villages. 1 The disease from Canton, according to the Hong Kong Assistant Principal Medical Officer, was bubonic plague. A few days later, the Governor notified the Colonial Office in London that many Chinese pupils in the

in Western medicine as contested knowledge
Segregationist insights
Liora Bigon

French counterparts. As to the reciprocal relations between the outbreak of infectious diseases and the planning of the colonial city in sub-Saharan Africa, we will concentrate on the French segregationist policies following the outbreak of the bubonic plague in Dakar in 1914, with occasional reference to other case studies. Taking into account the precedent planning and

in French colonial Dakar
Portraying medicine, poverty, and the bubonic plague in La Peste
Ragas José
Palma Patricia
, and
González-Donoso Guillermo

will eventually disappear. La Peste combines historical accuracy and fictional drama of the bubonic plague that affected Spain in the late sixteenth century, portraying everyday life during the pandemic. This chapter analyses how La Peste marks a milestone for Spanish television, as a series that accounts for global disasters in local settings with high doses of realism. The series portrays how

in Diagnosing history
Abstract only
The heart of the matter
Martin Yuille
Bill Ollier

with a simple and practical plan of action. We will present the evidence that today’s common long-term conditions comprise the modern plagues that kill millions and burden us with years of lingering disability. Lives were lost to past plagues because society did not know what to do. When the bubonic plague struck – most famously in the Black Death that swept round the world in the fourteenth century – people could pray to their gods, run away or do both. To prevent today’s common long-term conditions, we know what we must do: we have to reduce our modifiable risk

in Saving sick Britain
Space, identity and power

This volume aims to disclose the political, social and cultural factors that influenced the sanitary measures against epidemics developed in the Mediterranean during the long nineteenth century. The contributions to the book provide new interdisciplinary insights to the booming field of ‘quarantine studies’ through a systematic use of the analytic categories of space, identity and power. The ultimate goal is to show the multidimensional nature of quarantine, the intimate links that sanitary administrations and institutions had with the territorial organization of states, international trade, the construction of national, colonial, religious and professional identities or the configuration of political regimes. The circum-Mediterranean geographical spread of the case studies contained in this volume illuminates the similarities and differences around and across this sea, on the southern and northern shores, in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, English and French-speaking domains. At the same time, it is highly interested in engaging in the global English-speaking community, offering a wide range of terms, sources, bibliography, interpretative tools and views produced and elaborated in various Mediterranean countries. The historical approach will be useful to recognize the secular tensions that still lie behind present-day issues such as the return of epidemics or the global flows of migrants and refugees.