Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226648941 Published September 2019
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Viral Economies

Bird Flu Experiments in Vietnam

Natalie Porter

Viral Economies

Natalie Porter

240 pages | 15 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2019
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226648941 Published September 2019
Cloth $82.50 ISBN: 9780226648804 Published September 2019
E-book $10.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226649139 Published September 2019
Over the last decade, infectious disease outbreaks have heightened fears of a catastrophic pandemic passing from animals to humans. From Ebola and bird flu to swine flu and MERS, zoonotic viruses are killing animals and wreaking havoc on the people living near them. Given this clear correlation between animals and viral infection, why are animals largely invisible in social science accounts of pandemics, and why do they remain marginal in critiques of global public health?
 
In Viral Economies, Natalie Porter draws from long-term research on bird flu in Vietnam to chart the pathways of scientists, NGO workers, state veterinarians, and poultry farmers as they define and address pandemic risks. Porter argues that as global health programs expand their purview to include life and livestock, they weigh the interests of public health against those of commercial agriculture, rural tradition, and scientific innovation. Porter challenges human-centered analyses of pandemics and shows how dynamic and often dangerous human-animal relations take on global significance as poultry and their pathogens travel through global livestock economies and transnational health networks. Viral Economies urges readers to think critically about the ideas, relationships, and practices that produce our everyday commodities, and that shape how we determine the value of life—both human and nonhuman.
Contents
Introduction
Gà Ta, Our Chicken

1. Experimental Entrepreneurs
Hatching

2. Enumerating Immunity

3. Commerce and Containment
Sacrifice

4. Marketing Morals

5. How to Own a Virus

Conclusion
 
Acknowledgments
Notes
List of References
Index
Review Quotes
Ann Marie Leshkowich, College of the Holy Cross
“Written at the intersection of medical anthropology, multispecies ethnography, global health, political economy, and biopolitics, Viral Economies is a luminous and groundbreaking book that explores the complex outcomes of efforts to contain the spread of avian influenza in Vietnam. By analyzing bird flu interventions as experimental systems of knowledge, work, value, and care, Porter provides a nuanced account of how the intensifying commoditization of poultry livestock unsettles already precarious relationships between global biosecurity, transnational and translocal trade, state-led modernization policies, and rural livelihoods.”
John Hartigan, University of Texas, Austin
Viral Economies navigates the rapidly morphing terrain of global health policy, interventions, and surveillance, revealing the entwined livelihoods of humans and nonhumans in this highly animated and unstable landscape. Porter pushes ethnography beyond its usual strictures to illuminate startling, emergent disease ecologies, which are as much the products of marketing as mutations. This book is a riveting accomplishment.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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