Open Access (free)
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William Morris
Manon Mathias

continues. This chapter intervenes in the debate by focusing on literary engagements with the topic and thereby challenges the narrative of a straightforward move from dirt to cleanliness by demonstrating a much more complex relationship between filth, hygiene, and modern selfhood. Strachan's hygiene hypothesis seemed to undermine, indeed reverse, accepted wisdom regarding dirt and its nefarious qualities, which had been the broad consensus since germ theory was widely accepted. A connection between disease and filth, especially human waste, had, of

in Progress and pathology
The intellectual influence of non-medical research on policy and practice in the Colonial Medical Service in Tanganyika and Uganda
Shane Doyle

hegemonic. Moreover, doctors were not always blind to the limits of their understanding of indigenous societies. As colonial states matured, and medical officers’ attention moved beyond the needs of European officials and the local servants, soldiers and police who sustained them, so their lack of knowledge of the underlying causes of disease among the wider indigenous population provoked increasing concern

in Beyond the state
Dorothy Porter

Introduction Parkinson's Disease is one of the defining degenerative diseases of ageing populations. In 2005 there were an estimated 4.1 million sufferers worldwide, a figure projected to reach 8.7 million by 2030. 1 However, those statistical projections have already been dramatically revised. Current estimates are that 7 to 10 million people in the world are affected, with estimates that this will double within a decade as economically developing and developed populations

in Balancing the self
Open Access (free)
Lachlan McIver, Maria Guevara, and Gabriel Alcoba

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed multiple fault lines in the performances of health services at every level – from community to national to global – in ensuring universal, equitable access to preventive and curative care. Tragically, this has been to the detriment of those who have suffered and died not only from COVID-19, but also from the myriad other ailments affecting people around the world. Of those, we wish to highlight here some key categories of diseases that have caused a greater

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Presumed black immunity to yellow fever and the racial politics of burial labour in 1855 Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia
Michael D. Thompson

Epidemic disease regularly tore through nineteenth-century American cities, triggering public health crises and economic upheaval. These epidemic panics also provoked new racialised labour regimes, affecting the lives of innumerable working people. During yellow fever outbreaks, white authorities and employers preferred workers of colour over ‘unacclimated’ white immigrants, reflecting a common but mistaken belief in black invulnerability. This article chronicles enslaved burial labourers in antebellum Virginia, who leveraged this notion to seize various privileges – and nearly freedom. These episodes demonstrate that black labour, though not always black suffering or lives, mattered immensely to white officials managing these urban crises. Black workers were not mere tools for protecting white wealth and health, however, as they often risked torment and death to capitalise on employers’ desperation for their essential labour. This history exposes racial and socioeconomic divergence between those able to shelter or flee from infection, and those compelled to remain exposed and exploitable.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Positioning, Politics and Pertinence
Natalie Roberts

Introduction The Ebola epidemic that occurred in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, primarily Nord Kivu, between 2018 and 2020 was the first major outbreak of the disease since West Africa 2013–16. Dramatic biomedical progress was made before and during the Kivu outbreak, including the rapid development of effective tests, treatments, vaccines and care interventions. Response efforts were marked by an extraordinarily large budget dispersed

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Realistic Ambition?
Pierre Mendiharat, Elba Rahmouni, and Léon Salumu

Despite a concerted international effort in recent decades that has yielded significant progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the disease continues to kill large numbers of people, especially in certain regions like rural Ndhiwa district in Homa Bay County, Kenya. Although there is still no definitive cure or vaccine, UNAIDS has set an ambitious goal of ending the epidemic by 2030, specifically via its 90-90-90 (treatment cascade) strategy – namely that 90 per cent of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
The Politics of Information and Analysis in Food Security Crises
Daniel Maxwell and Peter Hailey

three additional countries suffered – or teetered on the edge of – famine, while rapidly increasing numbers of people faced acute food insecurity of a slightly less severe degree ( FEWS NET, 2017 ; IPC, 2020 ). ‘Famine’ has both human and political connotations. In human terms, it means destruction of livelihoods – to the point of destitution with large numbers of food-insecure people, increased severe malnutrition, disease epidemics, excess death and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
The Politics of Infectious Disease
Duncan McLean and Michaël Neuman

outweighing those succumbing to corporal punishment, filthy prison conditions inevitably overflowed into packed courtrooms. In this case several hundred people died from ‘Jenks’ curse’ with the culprit now assumed to be the body louse, a key vector for the transmission of typhus ( Martin, 2015 : 144–5). This curious anecdote, well-known among medical historians and certainly obscured by legend, provides an apt illustration of the intersection between infectious disease and the surrounding political

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Pandemic and management of dead bodies in Brazil
Liliana Sanjurjo, Desirée Azevedo, and Larissa Nadai

This article analyses the management of bodies in Brazil within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its objective is to examine how the confluence of underreporting, inequality and alterations in the forms of classifying and managing bodies has produced a political practice that aims at the mass infection of the living and the quick disposal of the dead. We first present the factors involved in the process of underreporting of the disease and its effects on state registration and regulation of bodies. Our analysis then turns to the cemetery to problematise the dynamics through which inequality and racism are re-actualised and become central aspects of the management of the pandemic in Brazil. We will focus not only on the policies of managing bodies adopted during the pandemic but also on those associated with other historical periods, examining continuities and ruptures, as well as their relationship to long-term processes.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal