Posted by C3W Admin on April 20 2022
Professor Dora Vargha gave the CEERES Director’s Lecture at the University of Chicago titled Endings in Crisis: Pandemic Narratives in Times of Conflict and present her research in progress in the Centre’s seminar. The enduring persistence, resurgence and mutation of many epidemic diseases have made apparent the problematic nature of the ‘epidemic disease narrative’ in the 21st century. With the quick succession of intractable global epidemic crises in the early 21st century, clear narratives of beginning, crisis and ‘ending’ have become increasingly untenable as a comprehensive explanatory model. Historical research can help us understand how epidemic narratives fuelled and mobilized people and resources in the 20th century, and approaches we need to consider as we are faced with the uncertain trajectory of many diseases in the 21st century. As a devastating destruction is ravaging Ukraine, the question of overlapping crises and the intertwining narratives of epidemics and war are particularly important to address and place in historical context. This lecture aims to shift our attention to question what, when and for whom is an end of an epidemic ‘the end’, and what happens after.