Through the relational production and circulation of personal narratives about experiences with pain and loss, new publics are created while networked subjects are negotiated. This colloquium addresses the productive capacities of illness, disability, death, and dying, asking how individuals use online platforms or other forms of new technology to both reproduce and contest popular discourses surrounding these everyday phenomena.
As the Ebola virus spreads and grows into a “global threat,” information about the disease mixes with a host of larger questions and concerns. How can we separate reasoned preparation from blind panic? In what ways does the spread of Ebola expose connections between local practices and global networks, impact travel or interpersonal interactions, or alter categories of “us” and “them”? How might the lessons of ethnography and history better inform our present-day response? And what are the implications for training students and health-care workers?