Call for papers: After zika

Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association
Washington, D.C., November 29 – December 3, 2017

After” Zika: Making Anthropology Matter in Zika Management and Long-Term Response
Zika has largely disappeared from the headlines, but its story has only just begun. The zika virus (ZIKV) continues to mobilize global health agendas, galvanize international scientific research, and deeply impact the lives of affected women, men, children. From late 2015 when its possible connection to microcephaly in Brazil became international news, ZIKV and its reproductive consequences have been a public health nightmare for affected countries. It has also highlighted longstanding social inequalities that expose some populations to arboviruses and their dangers more than others, such as lack of basic sanitation, inadequate living and working conditions, and differential access to healthcare. The many uncertainties surrounding the disease itself, combined with economic and political turmoil affecting the hardest hit nations, have contributed to slow and/or insufficient policy response. The virus’s spread throughout the Americas and beyond thus raises important questions for anthropology: How does the continuing threat of zika virus infection affect women’s and men’s reproductive decision-making? How is knowledge (scientific and otherwise) about emerging epidemics like zika produced, circulated, and solidified, and to what effects? In what ways are social inequalities (involving race, gender, class, geographic location, physical ability, and others) highlighted and exacerbated by zika and its reproductive consequences?

This panel will present research that proposes a continuing role for anthropological research in the long-term management of ZIKV in the Americas and beyond.

We invite submissions that address the challenges of the ongoing zika crisis, including, but not limited to:

  • Critical analyses of how the ZIKV epidemic has mobilized particular global health agendas, as well as presented challenges to global health governance;
  • The production of scientific knowledge on ZIKV and the impact of this knowledge on public policies to address the outbreak;
  • Reconfigurations of knowledge practices in science and policy evidenced by the response to zika and its effects;
  • Temporalities of disease spread, scientific research, and policy response in public health emergencies;
  • How the concept of risk is encoded in public discourse on zika and its reproductive consequences;
  • Reproductive decision-making in the face of the zika epidemic;
  • Everyday care of children affected by congenital zika syndrome;
  • Anthropology’s role in confronting zika and its aftermath.

Please send us your 250 word abstract by April 6. We will notify presenters by April 8th. Contact Lucia Guerra-Reyes at luguerra@indiana.edu or Eliza Williamson at kew5@rice.edu