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Pandemics and the Media


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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This book was written during the time I became a mother to a wonderful and spirited girl. It would not have been possible for me to give birth to a baby and a book at the same time if it were not for an amazing professional and personal support network. It is them that I would like to thank.

Deep gratitude goes to Mary Savigar of Peter Lang and Simon Cottle of the Global Crises and the Media series for their patience and feedback. My colleagues at the Department of Communication were incredibly supportive throughout this process. I am especially grateful to Leroy Dorsey, our department chair, for understanding the difficulty of balancing life and work for a new parent and for providing a structure of support without which this book would not be finished; Tony de Velasco, for being a wonderful friend and mentor and for helping me navigate the murky waters of pre-tenure existence; Josh Reeves, for support and inspiration, and Nick Simpson, whose companionship kept me sane and smiling. A big thanks goes to my research assistants, Marcus Hassell, Alaenor London, Lindsey Randall, and Jon Paul Bushnell, who provided much-needed help at various parts of this project. Financially, this work was supported in part by grants from College of Communication and Fine Arts New Faculty Grant and The University of Memphis Faculty Research Grant Fund.

← xiii | xiv → This work greatly benefited from the Bright Ideas Visiting Fellowship at the Genomics Forum at the...

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