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Leslie Topp, From Seclusion to Self-Isolation: Uses and Perils of the Single Room
This paper will address the history of the design of seclusion and isolation in psychiatric and prison contexts, with a focus on the single room and its deployment and representation also in a range of non-carceral contexts such as domestic, working, and academic environments The current crisis has taught us much about isolation, its uses and perils. It has also shone a bright light on spatial inequality in the range of assumptions at play in public health advice about what kind of spaces and isolation possibilities most people have or should have access to, and how far short of that assumed norm many people’s accommodation falls. This paper will showcase historical research on past single rooms to also engages with current conditions and experiences of lockdown.
Alexandre White, Epidemic Imaginaries: Disease and the Redrawing of the Polis
The most sustained research into acute epidemics such as recent epidemics of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, zika virus, or yellow fever epidemics most often arise in the fuzzy domain of Global Health research which focuses by in large upon the concerns and health problems occurring in the developing world. This leaves spaces like Europe and North America outside of the realm of direct analysis save for migrant populations, and the international organizations and geopolitical entities involved in health policy making. Epidemics of these diseases, disproportionately having far greater effects outside the over-developed West than within highlight a myth of the yawning gaps between modernity and the ‘uncivilized’ rest of the world. This paper examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the modern west from the myth of its own technical and scientific superiority in the face of plagues. The history of international infectious disease control and regulation has largely been one in which powerful imperial or European and North American nations have held themselves up as the exemplars of sanitation, health and hygiene at risk from a backwards rest of the world. In this paper we will look at the formulation of this myth and the factors that have shaped its legacy in the domain of infectious disease control and the regulation of bodies in international space.