Pandemics & human society.
What you'll learn
- How pandemics are more than just a force of nature, but rather a result of human interaction with their environments.
- How pandemics have often catalyzed major changes (economic, social, political)
- How pandemics are an important part of human history.
- Students will see that societies' responses to pandemics reflect previously existing fault lines.
- An interest in current affairs.
- A critical mind.
Pandemics are not just a force of nature. They arise in social, political and economic contexts and affect human societies in different ways. History shows us that pandemics have always played a role in human development, as they often expose fault lines running through society, catalyzing change. Some argue that smallpox brought down the Roman Empire and the Black Death ended European feudalism. In any case, the societal fall-out from these pandemics was enormous.
CoVid19 is no different. It has emerged at a time in which our faith in our political institutions and leaders is low. It has emerged at a time of escalating global inequality and threatening climate change. Populations are stirring, as lockdown measures and social distancing have changed the economic landscape. Recession and social unrest are looming, as governments struggle to organize their vaccination programmes. Public health systems are under pressure. Have they not been under-financed for decades? Are private interests compatible with the production of medicines? Do governments have the right to force their populations to vaccinate themselves?
CoVid19 has presented our societies with a cruel mirror, in which we are now forced to ask some questions about the type of society we want to build for the future.
Who this course is for:
- People who are keen to understand our current pandemic a bit better from the perspective of history.
I have an MA in History and one in Education. Currently, I am doing a PhD at the University of Exeter on Islands and Climate Change.
I am also a teacher and have taught for fifteen years, but will remain a student for the rest of my life. My MA is in Modern History with a special focus on the Cold War, decolonisation, African history and the history of the Middle-East.
I have taught across different subjects and age ranges across the world. Apart from teaching, I have campaigned for refugees rights, headed a charity organisation and written a newspaper column.
My first book was published in January 2019 and contextualizes Europe's refugee crisis by looking at recent history.