The Virus Touch: Living with Epidemics

Bishnupriya Ghosh
UC Santa Barbara

The Virus Touch is a book on technical mediations that seek to intervene in human-virus relations under epidemic conditions. The HIV/AIDS crises of the last forty years exemplify premiere agonistic encounters. Framed against the late-20th century ecological conception of the pathogenic viruses as an emergent threat, the book theorizes a spectrum of epidemic media from high-tech “expert” scientific to low-tech “non-expert” collective-popular solutions to HIV/AIDS high crises in the United States, South Africa, and India. The grantee argues that such technical mediations in virology, immunology, and epidemiology eschew the “war on germs”—premised on eternal antagonism between the virus and the human—and embrace cooperative modes of living in uneasy truce with the virus. The aim is to think of technical mediations of human-virus relations at global and ecological scales.