My work examines the social effects of infectious epidemic outbreaks in both historical and contemporary settings as well as the global mechanisms that produce responses to outbreak. My book project, Epidemics and Modernity: A Social History of International Disease Response explores the historical roots of international responses to epidemic threats. My work demonstrates a number of troubling bifurcations (Go 2020) in how we as sociologists apprehend infectious disease-namely we are far too quick to distinguish histories of epidemics in the west as distinct from the those occurring elsewhere around the globe. Postcolonial sociologists (Bhambra 2011; Go 2016; Magubane 2005) and scholars of Southern Theory (Connell 1997, 2007) have advocated for the troubling, transformation or abolition of the western canon. Pandemics should also be moments to trouble our assumptions of whose experiences, where and whose voices constitute sociological evidence and can produce theory.
“This used to be the parking lot,” Jesús laughed, as we piled out of his car. He and his friend Marcos pulled me into the large field of prairie grass and scrawny trees that I had been driving by, oblivious, for months while conducting fieldwork in the southeastern most neighborhood of Chicago. “There’s the dock,” Marcos said, guiding us to the edge of a watery parking spot for ships that for nearly a century delivered iron ore pellets from sources across the Great Lakes. Jesús picked up a taconite iron pellet from the edge of the dock and handed it to me. “I remember my father, when he would hear the ore boats in the [dock], he would always say, ‘That’s the sound of money.’”
In the United States, about half of the 1.3 to 1.8 million people who currently inject drugs (Brady et al. 2008) give or receive injection assistance, in which one person injects another person with illicit drugs. People receiving injection assistance are at increased risk of venous damage and are more than twice as likely than other people who inject drugs to be infected with Hepatitis C and HIV. Further, overdose risk for assisted injection recipients is twice that of other people who inject drugs, for whom it is the leading cause of death.
Letter From the Chair
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