InSIS Special Seminar - A Failure of Classification: Ebola and the Administrative Imagination

InSIS is happy to announce that a special seminar will be held at 12:30pm on Wednesday, May 25, in the Seminar Room at 64 Banbury Road, Oxford. Titled 'A Failure of Classification: Ebola and the Administrative Imagination', this seminar will be presented by Andrew Lakoff from the University of Southern California.

A full presentation abstract and presenter biography are included below.

All are welcome to attend.

A Failure of Classification: Ebola and the Administrative Imagination 

Andrew Lakoff (University of Southern California)
Wednesday, May 25
12:30-2pm, Seminar room, 64 Banbury Road, Oxford

This talk examines recent efforts to diagnose the failure of the global health community to adequately respond to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. These critiques tend to focus on issues such as poor resources or a lack of resources. The talk will suggest that another source of failure was the administrative imagination of global health authorities. An examination of the early stages of response shows that authorities did not consider Ebola to be the kind of disease that could provoke a global health emergency. Rather, it was seen as a "neglected disease" that primarily afflicted marginal populations in rural areas--and thus did not require an intensive global response. 

Andrew Lakoff is an associate professor of sociology and communication at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry (2006) and coeditor of Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices (2006) and Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question (2008).

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