• Sociology of War
• Classical Social Theory
• Sociology of Work
Pandemic Culture. This project is an analysis of how a ‘pandemic imaginary’ is constructed and circulated within popular and public culture. While pandemics as medical events may be extraordinary, the threat of pandemic is not. Pandemic culture is a shared sense that each of us is indiscriminately vulnerable to the viral spread of pandemic, arising out of the conditions of global mobility of capital, goods, and people that put the human species at risk for the first time in modern memory. The result is the development of an apocalyptic mood that is productive of specific vocabularies, emergent modes of subjectivity, forms of knowledge, new geographies, and new articulations of politics and ethics.
Currently accepting graduate students interested in the sociology of war, the social effects of pandemic, and the sociology of the future.
2011 Gerlach, Neil, Sheryl Hamilton, Rebecca Sullivan, and Priscilla Walton (co-authors). Becoming Biosubjects: Bodies. Systems. Technologies. University of Toronto Press, 216 pp.
2004 Gerlach, Neil, The Genetic Imaginary: DNA in the Canadian Criminal Justice System. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 247 pp.
Articles in Refereed Journals
2019 Gerlach, Neil, “Visualizing Ebola: Hazmat Imagery, The Press, and the Production of Biosecurity.” Canadian Journal of Communication 44(2): 191-210.
2016 Gerlach, Neil, “From Outbreak to Pandemic Narrative: Reading Newspaper Coverage of the 2014 Ebola Epidemic.” Canadian Journal of Communication.
2014 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl Hamilton, “Trafficking in the Zombie: The CDC Zombie Apocalypse Campaign, Diseaseability, and Pandemic Culture.” Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, refractory.unimelb.edu.au/2014/06/26/volume-23/
2012 Gerlach, Neil, “Narrating Armageddon: Antichrist Films and the Critique of Late Modernity.” The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 24(2): 217-29.
2011 Gerlach, Neil, “The Antichrist as Antimonomyth: The Omen Films as Social Critique." The Journal of Popular Culture 44(5): 1027-46.
2010 Hamilton, Sheryl and Neil Gerlach, “’It Won’t Always Be Wrong’: Morality and Monsters in Legal Rational Authority.” Law, Culture and the Humanities 6(3): 394-419.
2005 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “From Mad Scientist to Bad Scientist: Richard Seed as a Biogovernmental Event.” Communication Theory 15(1): 78-99.
2004 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “Preserving Self in the City of the Imagination: Georg Simmel and Dark City”, Canadian Review of American Studies 34(2): 115-34.
2003 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “A History of Social Science Fiction”, Science Fiction Studies 30(2):161-73.
2002 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “Considering Complexity in Canadian Civil Society: A Case Study of Studio XX”, Revista Mexicana de Estudios Canadienses Autumn, No.4 (online journal).
2001 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “Cyber, Inc.: Business Restructuring Literature and/as Cybertheory”, Convergence: The Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies 7(1): 40-60.
2001 Gerlach, Neil, “From Disciplinary Gaze to Biological Gaze: Genetic Crime Thrillers and Biogovernance”, Canadian Review of American Studies 31(3): 95-117.
2000 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “Telling the Future, Managing the Present: Business Management Writing as SF”, Science Fiction Studies 27(3): 461-77.
1996 Gerlach, Neil, “The Business Restructuring Genre: Some Questions for Critical Organization Analyses”, Organization: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Organization, Theory and Society 3(3): 425-38.
1989 Gerlach, Neil, “A Selected and Annotated Bibliography of Legal Anthropology”, The Western Canadian Anthropologist 6(2): 22-55.
Chapters in Edited Books
2009 Gerlach, Neil, “From Bodily Integrity to Genetic Surveillance: The Impacts of DNA Identification in Criminal Justice,” in Sean Hier and Joshua Greenberg (eds.), Surveillance: Power, Problems, and Politics. University of British Columbia Press, pp. 135-50.
2005 Gerlach, Neil, “Biotechnology and Social Control: The Canadian DNA Data Bank”, in Michael Mehta (ed.), Biotechnology Unglued, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, pp. 117-32.
2003 Gerlach, Neil and Sheryl N. Hamilton, “Virtually Civil: Studio XX, Feminist Voices, and Digital Technology in Canadian Civil Society” in S.D. Ferguson and L. Regan Shade (eds.), Civic Discourse and Cultural Politics in Canada, Norwood, N.J.: Greenwood/Elsevier, pp. 201-15.
2003 Gerlach, Neil, “Criminal Biology: Genetic Crime Thrillers and the Future of Social Control”, in Domna Pastourmatzi (ed.), Biotechnological and Medical Themes in Science Fiction, Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, pp. 371-94.
2003 Gerlach, Neil, “Criminal Pre-Disposition: Futuristic Genetic Crime Thrillers and Biogovernance”, in Mary Pharr (ed.), Fantastic Odysseys, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, pp. 29-38.
2002 Gerlach, Neil, “Defining the Canadian DNA Data Bank: A Sociological Perspective”, in M. Pendakur and R. Harris (eds.), Citizenship and Participation in the Information Age, Aurora, ON: Garamond Press, pp. 103-20.
Journal Special Issues Edited
2003 Gerlach, Neil, Sheryl N. Hamilton, and Rob Latham, (eds.), Special Issue on Social Science Fiction, Science Fiction Studies 30(2).
Recent Papers Presented to Learned Societies
2021 “Working in a Diseased World: News Media Representations of the Post COVID-19 Workplace.” Canadian Communication Association Annual Meeting, June 2, 2021. University of Alberta (virtual conference).
2021 Roundtable: “COVID-19. This Changes Everything... or Does It?” Canadian Communication Association Annual Meeting, June 2, 2021. University of Alberta (virtual conference).
2020 “Myths of the Far Future: Technofuturist Writing as Science Fiction.” International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, March 17-20, 2020. Orlando, Florida (cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak).
2020 “Troubling the Imagined Disease Space of the ‘Connected World’ in the Smithsonian’s Outbreak Exhibit,” with Sheryl Hamilton. Canadian Communication Association Annual Meeting, June 2-5, 2020. Western University, London, Ontario (cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak).
2018 “Pandemics and Apocalyptic Time: Examining Temporality in Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone,” presented at the Popular Culture Association Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, March 29.
2017 “Revisiting the Hot Zone: Richard Preston and the Beginning of Pandemic Culture,” presented at the Canadian Communication Association, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Ryerson University, Toronto, June 1.
2017 “Performing Biosecurity: Ebola, Hazmat Suit Imagery, and the Press,” presented at the Popular Culture Association National Conference, San Diego, April 12.
2016 “Mapping the Visual Culture of Pandemic: An Emergent Iconography,” with Sheryl Hamilton, presented at the Canadian Communication Association, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Calgary, May 29.
2016 “From Science Fiction to Social Fact: Generic Flow in the Cultural Iconography of Pandemic,” with Sheryl Hamilton, presented at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, March 19.
2016 “From Aid to Biosecurity: The Shifting Nature of Press Coverage of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak.” Presented at the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies, University of Waterloo, January 15.
2015 “Framing Ebola: The Changing Discourses of Ebola in North American Press Coverage.” Presented at the Canadian Communication Association, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, June 3.
2015 “From Outbreak to Pandemic: World War Z and the New Understanding of Disease,” with Sheryl Hamilton, presented at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, Florida, March 20.
2013 “Zombie Anxiety: ‘Social Flesh’ and the End of the Legal-Rational Subject.” Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities 2013, London, UK, March 22.
2012 Gerlach Neil and Sheryl Hamilton. “Ambient Anxiety: Mapping Pandemic Narratives in Popular Culture,” with Sheryl Hamilton, presented at Crossroads 2012, Paris, July 3.
2011 “Justifying an American State of Exception: Biothrillers and the Ideology of the War on Terror,” presented at The Aesthetics of Renewal: Canadian Association of American Studies Conference, Ottawa, November 5.
2011 “Governing the Zombie: Risk and Law in Apocalyptic Culture,” presented at Dis/Locating Law: Conference of the Canadian Initiative in Law, Culture and Humanities, Ottawa, October 21.
2011 “From Outbreak to Pandemic: Shifting Anxieties in the Resident Evil Films,” with Sheryl Hamilton, presented at the Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Toronto, September 10.
2011 “From Humanism to Nihilism: Theorizing Pandemic Apocalypse through the Resident Evil Quadrology,“ with Sheryl Hamilton, presented at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, March 18.
2010 “Imagining Apocalypse: Managing Pandemics in Policy and Popular Culture,” presented at the U.S. Cultural Studies Association Conference, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, March 20.
2009 “Controlling Bioagency: SARS and the Discourse of Biosecurity,” presented at the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies Conference, McGill University, Montreal, October 24.
2009 “Biothrillers and the Law: Anticipating the Legal Implications of Bioterrorism,” presented at the Canadian Initiative in Law, Culture, and the Humanities Conference, Carleton University, Ottawa, Oct. 18.
SOCI 2000 Foundations of Sociological Inquiry
SOCI 2160 War and Society
SOCI 3030 Studies in Work, Industry and Occupations
SOCI 5206 Sociology of Occupations and Professions
SOCI 5806 War and Society in the Global North
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