New article: Closure and the Critical Epidemic Ending
In his article, ‘Closure and the Critical Epidemic Ending’ published in Centaurus – Journal of the European Society for the History of Science, Shame and Medicine research team member Arthur Rose examines closure and the end of epidemics.
“An epidemic has a dramaturgic form,” wrote Charles Rosenberg in 1989, “Epidemics start at a moment in time, proceed on a stage limited in space and duration, following a plot line of increasing and revelatory tension, move to a crisis of individual and collective character, then drift towards closure.” Rosenberg’s dramaturgic description has become an important starting point for critical studies of epidemic endings (Vargha, 2016; Greene & Vargha, 2020; Charters & Heitman, 2021) that, rightly, criticize this structure for its neatness and its linearity. In this article, I want to nuance these criticisms by distinguishing between the term Rosenberg uses, “closure,” and its implicature, “ending.” I aim to show how many of the complications ensuing between the different forms of ending imagined may well be resolved by assessing whether they bring closure or not.
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