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May Newsletter now available

Posted by C3W Admin on May 27 2022

We have gathered together the latest news and events, together with some content not available on the website and put it into a Newsletter below

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Welcome to the May edition of our newsletter, where you will find the latest research findings, activities and events.

This edition has

  • News from UNAM’s monthly seminar series
  • Stefan Pohl-Valero’s new grant
  • Sebastian Fonseca’s blog with details of his conversation with Dr Maziyar Ghiabi
  • Upcoming events


C3W Collaborator, Stefan Pohl-Valero (Associated Professor at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá) has been awarded a grant from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the European Community as a visiting researcher at the UAB Institute of History of Science for two years (Ayudas María Zambrano para la atracción de talento internacional). His research project is entitled “Assembling the Food Problem in Latin America during the beginning of Development, 1930-1960”. 


UNAM Seminar Series

Sarah Howard (on 1st April, 2022) and Bogdan Iacob (on 30th April, 2022) participated in the monthly UNAM Seminar on studies of science and technology, attended by faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students at the Latin American university.

Sarah Marks and Sarah Howard attended the inaugural meeting of an ‘Africa Cluster’ at Birkbeck’s History, Classics and Archaeology Department, to connect and collaborate with colleagues working on Africa across historical periods. 

Photo: University of 18 Nationalities’ from Soviet Weekly, May 23rd 1981

18th -20th May, 2022

Lu Chen gave a presentation titled “Scientific Standard and Political Leverage: Certification of Smallpox Eradication in China, 1973-1985” at the “Global Interference? Science and Foreign Policy Interactions in China” workshop organised by Max Plank Institute in Berlin 

Dates for your Diary

27th May, 2022 – postdoctoral fellow David Bannister will talk about his current research on health in southern Africa.

8th June. 2022 – Sarah Howard will present a paper at Birkbeck at Birkbeck called ‘‘Feeding Babies, Making the State: Breastmilk as Political Substance in Ethiopia’.

8th-10th June, 2022
Lu Chen
will give a presentation at the Afterlives of Epidemics Conference in Oslo
Keynote speakers Dora Vargha, University of Exeter Erica Charters, University of Oxford Jeremy Greene, John Hopkins University The outbreak of an epidemic is often easy to locate in time. It takes the form of an event, and as such, it can function as a great synchroniser of different forms of lives and times. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, the high potential of geographic spread associated with assumed high case fatality, and ensuing political panic accelerated political processes that are usually slow due to the impending need to contain the virus. The end of an epidemic, on the other hand, is more difficult to pinpoint. This can be attributed to the fact that the myriad actors involved in and affected by an epidemic operate on diverging time scales. Although seemingly synchronised from its outset, these lifetimes become un-synchronised as the epidemic unfolds. Some effects of an epidemic are easily observed, such as infection rates and number of deceased. Others – psychological, social and medical aftereffects, subtle changes in political priorities, or the lasting memory in a population – may be harder to spot. Declaring that an epidemic has ‘ended’ usually relies on the ceasing of the former effects, not the latter. The ending(s) of an epidemic can be regarded in the plural, each operating within its own rhythm and scale. In this conference, we invite papers exploring the multiplicity of afterlives of epidemics – human, microbial, institutional, geographical – and how they affect not only life after a pandemic but also our ability to deal with ‘the next’.

17th June, 2022 – Dora Vargha will present “Socialist internationalism in the making: Hungarian doctors in North Korea 1950-57” at Spaces of Transnational Solidarity workshop, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

22nd June, 2022 – Dora Vargha will present “Socialist medicine: alternative narratives for the history of global health”, webinar of the European Association for the History of Health and Medicine

6th July, 2022 – Dora Vargha will present “Social or Socialist? Ideology, Biomedicine, and Healthcare beyond the Iron Curtain” at the Forschungskolloquium zur Geschichte des Wissens, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Latest from the Blog

Narco-Capitalism: A conversation

The latest blog post features Sebastian Fonseca in conversation with Dr Maziyar Ghiabi about his recent article, Critique of everyday narco-capitalism’. an excellent analysis intersecting the drug culture, dynamics of capitalism and daily experiences on the ground from Afghanistan, Myanmar and Colombia.


Listen to Dora Vargha take part in The Inquiry – How do pandemics end? a BBC World Service programme. Other guests are Dr Margaret Harris, Spokesperson, World Health Organisation, Nicholas Christakis, Professor of Social and Natural Science, Yale University and Aris Katzourakis, Professor of Evolution and Genomics, University of Oxford. They were talking to Sandra Kanthal


David Bannister, Wilful Blindness: Sleeping Sickness and Onchocerciasis in Colonial Northern Ghana, 1909–1957, Social History of Medicine, Volume 35, Issue 2, May 2022, Pages 635–660,
The open access version is available here

The most recent result of Stefan Pohl-Valero’s project (see news at the top) is the edited volume El hambre de los otros. Ciencia y políticas alimentarias en Latinoamérica, siglos XX y XXI [The hunger of others. Science and food policies in Latin America, 20th and 21st centuries] (Bogotá, 2021; coedited with Joel Vargas):

Writing retreats and Research Progress

If Your Doctor Speaks Russian' Article from Soviet Weekly, July 2nd 1983
Sarah Howard has been conducting preliminary archival research at the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies (SCRSS) in south London (blog post coming soon!). She is also planning oral history research for the summer in Germany and Sweden with Ethiopian healthcare professionals trained in socialist systems. 

Photo: If Your Doctor Speaks Russian’ Article from Soviet Weekly, July 2nd 1983


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