City: Leipzig, Germany
Organiser: Uli Beisel & Sung-Joon Park

Panel “Infectious Connections: Humans, Nonhumans, and Life in the Global Health in Africa” at the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD e.V.) Conference, 27-30 June 2018 in Leipzig, Germany.

Since the Ebola epidemic in West Africa 2014-2016, zoonotic diseases are acutely on the radar of policy makers, politicians, and the public. Zoonotic diseases, transmitted from animals to humans, are predicted to be on the rise, with rare and previously less known infectious disease outbreaks occurring more frequently than before. Such epidemics are horrifying and exceptional, but presumably part of greater ecological transformations, which significantly change how animal life, human life, and the environment interact. This panel invites scholarly work within African Studies on these emerging and emergent infectious connections and what it means for the study of health and diseases by exploring interactions between humans and animals, humans, and micro-organisms as well as the lived or self-destructive practices through which changing environments are inhabited. We are also interested in socio-cultural analysis of the interconnections between humans and fragile, fragmented, or ailing public health infrastructures; technological innovations to build ‘better’ or change ‘natural’ environments. In specific, we invite papers on:

  • the global circulation of zoonotic diseases,
  • the political ecologies of such harmful multispecies encounters,
  • the political economy of disease emergence, clinical and epidemiological research into neglected diseases,
  • the modes of production of data as well as medicines,
  • preparedness practices and biosecurity measures more generally.