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Pandemics and the Media

Series:

Marina Levina

Offering a comprehensive analysis of mediated representations of global pandemics, this book engages with the construction, management, and classification of difference in the global context of a pandemic, to address what it means – culturally, politically, and economically – to live in an infected, diseased body. Marina Levina argues that mediated representations are essential in translating and making sense of difference as a category of subjectivity and as a mode of organizing and distributing change. Using textual analysis of media texts on pandemics and disease, she illustrates how they represent a larger mediascape that drafts stories of global instabilities and global health. Levina explains how the stories we tell about disease matter; that the media is instrumental in constructing and disseminating these stories; and that mediated narratives of pandemics are rooted in global flows of policies, commerce, and populations. Pandemics are, by definition, global crises.
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Series Editor’s Preface: Global Crises and the Media

← viii | ix → SERIES EDITOR’S PREFACE

Extract

We live in a global age. We inhabit a world that has become radically interconnected, interdependent, and communicated in the formations and flows of the media. This same world also spawns proliferating, often interpenetrating, “global crises.”

From climate change to the war on terror, financial meltdowns to forced migrations,energy shortages to world poverty, and humanitarian disasters to the denial of human rights, these and other crises represent the dark side of our globalized planet. Their origins and outcomes are not confined behind national borders and they are not best conceived through national prisms of understanding. The impacts of global crises often register across “sovereign” national territories, surrounding regions and beyond, andthey can also become subject to systems of governance and forms of civil society response that are no less encompassing or transnational in scope. In today’s interdependent world, global crises cannot be regarded as exceptional or aberrant events only, erupting without rhyme or reason or dislocated from the contemporary world (dis)order. They are endemic to the contemporary global world, deeply enmeshed within it. And so too are they highly dependent on the world’s media and communication networks.

The series Global Crises and the Media sets out to examine not only the media’s role in the communication of global threats and crises but also ← ix | x → how they can variously enter into their constitution, enacting them on the public stage and helping to shape their future trajectory around the world. More specifically, the volumes in...

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