Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Gender, Family, and Fear: The Case of Contagion

Posted by bgsuenglish on April 3, 2012


Please join the BGSU Women’s Center this Friday, April 6th, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. for a talk by Associate Professor of English Dr. Bill Albertini, entitled “Gender, Family, and Fear: The Case of Contagion.”

Popular representations of contagious disease have historically focused on the danger posed by bodies coming into contact, especially those bodies tagged as public health problems through markers of race or ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, class, and gender, such as the famous case of “Typhoid Mary.” Contagious disease is popularly understood as a spreading through physical contact and is thus treated as something to be investigated, tracked, blocked from transmission, and inoculated against. However, stories of contagion inevitably focus not just on disease transmission, but emotional fallout, especially fear and grief. Bill’s talk examines recent representations of contagious disease—especially the 2011 film Contagion—and pays special attention to the film’s use of gender and the heterosexual family to explore contagion.


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