University: University of Colorado Denver
Description of Work:
Envisioning Viral Apocalypse charts the interlinked discourses of biological threat and defense as the Cold War gave way to the War on Terror. Through analyses of governmental, technical, and popular cultural texts and images, the book project demonstrates how current visions of health security derive from a rhetorical form I call the postmodern viral apocalyptic, which repackages age-old concerns about contamination into a vision of civilization’s near-collapse through viral pandemic. After tracking competing models of viral apocalypse across popular and official texts, the book concludes by analyzing the promises and pitfalls of the community health resilience model that evolved into a vision of post-pandemic recovery and renewal.