Special Issue: Pandemic, Plague, Pestilence and the Tropics

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We are pleased to announce the publication of the Special Issue: PANDEMIC, PLAGUE, PESTILENCE and the TROPICS edited by Anita Lundberg, Kalala Ngalamulume, Jean Segata, Arbaayah Ali Termizi & Chrystopher J. Spicer. 

Published in eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the Tropics (free, open access, Scopus Q2)

The Tropics has long been associated with exotic diseases and epidemics. This historical imaginary arose with Aristotle’s notion of the Tropics as the ‘torrid zone’, a geographical region virtually uninhabitable to non-indigenous peoples due to the hostility of its climate, and persisted in colonial imaginaries of the tropics as pestilential latitudes requiring slave labour. The tropical sites of colonialism gave rise to urgent studies of tropical diseases and medicine which lead to (racialised) changes in urban planning and the development of institutes of Tropical Medicine. The Tropics as a region of pandemic, plague and pestilence has been challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel coronavirus did not (simply) originate in the tropics, nor have peoples of the tropics been specifically or exclusively infected. The papers collected in this Special Issue disrupt the imaginary of pandemics, plague and pestilence in association with the tropics through critical, nuanced, and situated inquiries from cultural history, ethnography, cultural studies, science and technology studies, Indigenous knowledge, philosophy, anthropology, urban studies, cultural geography, literature and film analyses, and expressed through distinctive academic articles, poetry and speculative fiction.

Papers range across poetry, to science & technology studies, anthropology, zombie film analysis, ethnography, literary analysis, colonialism, cultural history, urban planning, development and health studies, and futuristic speculative fiction. Areas of focus include: the Tropics, West Africa, Brazil, the Amazon, Miami in Florida, Goa, the Pacific Islands, India, Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.