Epidemic Empire, Pandemic Implications
The rhetoric of contagion has been prominent in the discourse of empire. It dates back to the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and its metaphorical association with cholera epidemics but continues through the American “War on Terror” as waged against terrorism as a “cancer.” This talk will consider how the present COVID-19 global pandemic raises new literary and political extensions of this image.
Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Epidemic Empire: Colonialism, Contagion, and Terror, 1817–2020 (University of Chicago Press, 2021).