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Germs, genes and postcolonial geographies: reading the return of tuberculosis to Leicester, UK, 2001

[journal article]

Bell, Morag; Brown, Tim; Faire, Lucy

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Abstract This paper is inspired by an outbreak of pulmonary tuberculosis in the British East Midlands city of Leicester in 2001. In an era characterized by unprecedented advances in Western medical science an event of this kind might appear surprising. It challenges the feeling of wellbeing held in many Western countries, particularly in relation to diseases that appear both temporally and spatially distant. The paper examines how the event was reported in regional and national newspaper media and considers the significance attached to scale in the interactions between experts, the media and the public. In our analysis we mobilize a particular reading based on two biological metaphors, the membrane and the gene. We use this reading to reconsider the connectivity between disease, nation and identity in a world that is increasingly fluid, mobile, anxious and uncertain.
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 577-599
Journal Cultural Geographies, 13 (2006) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)