Notes
introduction
1. Consider, for example, the widespread avoidance of restaurants in San Francisco’s
Chinatown during the sars outbreak, despite the fact that no cases had been confirmed
anywhere within u.s. borders. ‘‘The sars Epidemic: Economic Fallout; Market for Chinese-
American Delicacy Plummets.’’ New York Times, May 23, 2003, A8.
2. My use of the term ‘‘indexical’’ follows from the works of semiotician C. S. Peirce and
film theorist André Bazin. The term is discussed at length in chapter 2, but for present pur-
poses, the key point is that indexical signs bear a causal (or existential) relationship to the
object that they represent, as in the case of smoke signifying the existence of fire. Thus, an
indexical image of contagion would function as concrete evidence that a pathogen exists
in a specific temporal and spatial locale, as when a thermometer indexically proves that a
patient is running a fever.
3. For more on the Science of Life series, see Eberwein, Sex Ed; Pernick, ‘‘Sex Education
Films, u.s. Government, 1920s’’; and Pernick, The Black Stork.
4. How Disease Is Spread (1924).
5. On the commodification of screen bodies, especially through the Hollywood star sys-
tem, see Dyer, Stars; DeCordova, Picture Personalities; and Gledhill, Stardom. On the com-
modification of the motion picture audience, see Gomery, Shared Pleasures.
6. The classic account of the cinematic fragmentation of the human body, and particu-
larly the female body, is Mulvey, ‘‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.’’
7. See Linda Williams’s excellent discussion of Marx’s commodity fetish and Freud’s
sexual fetish in Hard Core.
8. Ginzberg, Women and the Work of Benevolence.
9. Sekula, ‘‘The Body and the Archive.’’ See also Gunning, ‘‘Tracing the Individual Body.’’
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