Inexplicable events of mass hysteria are fairly common among school children the world over, from Le Roy, New York to Kashasha, Tanzania, and are generally considered an expression of some strain or anxiety that finds no other outlet.
A variety of local print media sources, from the Pretoria News to The Sowetan and The Sunday Tribune traffic in the terminology, with headlines reading "Mysterious wave of mass hysteria hits city", "Mass hysteria at Soweto school?", and "'Mass hysteria sweeps six E Cape schools." Other headlines emphasize spiritual and supernatural causes for these events, such as " 'Evil spirits' hit 70 Soweto pupils," "Prayer meeting for 'possessed' pupils," and "Demons take over Mdzimba High." The reports alternate between placing loaded terms like hysteria and evil spirits in distancing scare quotes and presenting them directly, as accepted classifications.
The press reports on mass hysteria clearly convey the failure to explain the events as a frustration of authority.
We can think, therefore, about mass hysteria as a situated resistance to the dispossession of the postcolonial experience, inverting Walter Benjamin's idea that the collective is also corporeal to suggest that the corporeal can also be collective.
Can we think of hysteria as a mass movement, not only a political one but also a physical one in which bodies move together or are moved to act?
The literature on mass hysteria considers factory and school to be analogous enclosed settings, and informs us of events "typically appearing in small institutionalised, social networks" (Rataemane et al).
Mass hysteria performs this refusal to be coopted into a disciplining structure.
The media spread the imagery, the language, and the mythology of the hysteria
. That's why symptoms tend to organize fairly quickly.
Since apartheid ended, South Africa has experienced a wave of incidents of alleged mass hysteria, mostly among schoolchildren in underprivileged areas (see Kapstein).
A classic trope of science fiction films is mass hysteria about some kind of contamination, whether it be a medical pandemic (Outbreak 1995, Contagion 2011), a zombie infestation (28 Days Later 2002), or an alien invasion (Aliens 1986).
Wikus's own hysteria swirls around his exposure to and infection with the alien fluid with all the ignorance, repulsion, and denial that characterize the South African AIDS crisis captured in the Van der Merwe joke at the top of this piece.
In Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture, and Mothers' Bodies, Rebecca Kukla traces current conceptions of pregnancy to a late eighteenth-century split in the figuration of the maternal body into two: "an unruly, capricious, improperly and porously bounded body" and a " 'natural' body enjoying perfect unity and reciprocity with its child" (67).
Hysteria was originally the displacement, or the "wandering, " of the womb.
The movie sets up a traditionally essentialized relationship between hysteria and femininity, since Wikus's bodies shows all the signs and symptoms of the hysterical pregnant body but then explodes that essentialism because his body is not feminine--it is hermaphroditic and alien; that is, profoundly other.
about the deficit is a political ploy designed by conservatives and corporate interests to justify vicious cuts in domestic spending and to hack away at government regulations on the private sector.