Shapes of Epidemics Roundtable

25 Feb 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Event Type

John E. Lesch
Professor Emeritus in the Department of History

Monica H. Green
Independent Scholar

This roundtable, hosted by the MEDS working group and moderated by Sandra Eder invites four scholars to discuss the socio-historic, artistic, political, and ecological significance of global disease. Andrea Patterson and Ian Read, co-editors of the new volume The Shapes of Epidemics and Global Disease (Cambridge Scholars Publisher: 2020), discuss with authors John E. Lesch and Monica H. Green how the physical threat of epidemics is irrevocably linked to culture, economic resources, social class, and power. Using several case studies from across the world and time, such as turning points in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the placement of Ebola in realm of the “global,” the racial predisposition hypothesis in American medicine, and nineteenth century globalization and epidemiological change in South America, participants will address the uniqueness of each disease and epidemic in its place and the shared experiences that span human life and death. How can we understand epidemics more as long biosocial processes than abrupt events in nature or culture? How does the volume contribute to our understanding of our current COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which it is shaped and in turn shapes our lives?


Link to the introduction:

Link to the Covid-19 Epilogue:


This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences (MEDS) • MEDS