Universität Wien FIND
Achtung! Das Lehrangebot ist noch nicht vollständig und wird bis Semesterbeginn laufend ergänzt.

240117 SE VM5 / VM1 - International History and Politics of Epidemics (2020W)

Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

At the time of writing, neither the virus situation for the fall term nor the number of enrolled students was clear. You will be informed about the exact modalities prior to the first session, but regardless of the format there will always be the possibility to follow the seminar online via the tool 'collaborate' for those who prefer to do so for health or other virus-related reasons. Thus, the sessions will either be entirely online or in person and online simultaneously. If there are in person meetings, they will take place in Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47. If we are meeting in person, please carefully follow the health regulations in place at the University of Vienna.

Mittwoch 14.10. 14:30 - 18:00 Digital
Mittwoch 28.10. 14:30 - 18:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Mittwoch 11.11. 14:30 - 18:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Mittwoch 25.11. 14:30 - 18:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Mittwoch 09.12. 14:30 - 18:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Mittwoch 13.01. 14:30 - 18:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47
Mittwoch 27.01. 14:30 - 18:00 Hybride Lehre
Seminarraum, UZA Augasse 2-6, 5.Stock Kern C SR5.47


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

In history, epidemics and pandemics had demographic, socio-economic, political and cultural repercussions on societies and they impacted international cooperation. In return, responses to these diseases have been shaped by politics, economics, or culture. The impact of epidemics and pandemics on societies varied depending on their socio-political or economic vulnerabilities and inequalities, many of which can be explained by history. As the world faces another pandemic, Covid-19, this course explores ways of making sense of the current crisis by looking at the past. We will try to conceptualize past responses to epidemics in order to better inform the study of international politics and international development today. After an introduction into the history of the course topic, the course will cover issues such as the role of expertise in the management of epidemics or cultural and socially constructed responses to disease. Further concerns of the course are the consequences of epidemics on democracies and media across the world as well as the role of epidemics for diplomacy, global health, humanitarian aid and international organizations.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

1. Attendance and active participation (10%)
2. Group work/presentation (25%)
3. Blog post (25%)
4. Final paper (40%)

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

At the end of the course, the student is expected to:

1°) become familiar with debates in the fields of history and international relations regarding epidemics, disaster, and global health.

2°) acquire the capacity to critically engage with the literature and interpret past and contemporary sources (visual, textual, oral, data) relating to the topic of the course.

3°) be able to use knowledge from historical and international relations and development research on epidemics to be better informed about the contemporary debates and challenges evolving as a consequence of Covid-19 and to be able to interpret national and international policies.


Themes discussed in the seminar:

− Introduction to the international history of global epidemics and pandemics
− Culture and religion
− Science and expertise
− Vulnerabilities, resilience and the social construction of epidemics
− Gendering and queering epidemics
− Democracy and disaster capitalism
− International organizations and epidemiological surveillance
− International development and disease control
− Communicating disease: information, media and representation
− The diplomacy and geopolitics of epidemics
− Future paths of globalization, international relations and international development in times of Covid-19


Examples of readings discussed in the seminar (list susceptible to modification)

− Erez Manela, ‘A Pox on Your Narrative: Writing Disease Control into Cold War History’, Diplomatic History 34, no. 2 (2010): 299–323.
− David S. Jones, ‘History in a Crisis — Lessons for Covid-19’, New England Journal of Medicine, March 2020.
− David Simmons, ‘Religion and Medicine at the Crossroads: A Re-Examination of the Southern Rhodesian Influenza Epidemic of 1918’, Journal of Southern African Studies 35, no. 1 (2009): 29–44.
− Helen Tilley, Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870-1950. Chicago: UP, 2011. (Excerpt)
− Anne-Emanuelle Birn and Armando Solórzano, ‘Public Health Policy Paradoxes: Science and Politics in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Hookworm Campaign in Mexico in the 1920s’, Social Science & Medicine 49, no. 9 (1999): 1197–1213.
− Samuel K. Cohn, ‘Pandemics: Waves of Disease, Waves of Hate from the Plague of Athens to A.I.D.S.’, Historical Research 85, no. 230 (2012): 535–55.
− Anne-Emanuelle Birn, “Skirting the issue: women and international health in historical perspective,” American Journal of Public Health 89, no. 3 (1999), 399–407.
− Jonathan Bell, ‘Rethinking the “Straight State”: Welfare Politics, Health Care, and Public Policy in the Shadow of AIDS’, Journal of American History 104, no. 4 (2018): 931–52.
− Mark Schuller and Julie K. Maldonado, ‘Disaster Capitalism’, Annals of Anthropological Practice 40, no. 1 (2016): 61–72.
− Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception (Chicago: UP, 2005). (Excerpt)
− Peter Baldwin, Disease and Democracy: The Industrialized World Faces AIDS (Berkeley: Univ.of California Press, 2006).
− Richard Coker and Alan Ingram, ‘Passports and Pestilence: Migration, Security and Contemporary Border Control of Infectious Diseases’ in Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security, 1850 to the Present, ed. Alison Bashford (N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 159–76 & 196–218.
− Valeska Huber, ‘The Unification of the Globe by Disease? The International Sanitary Conferences on Cholera, 1851-1894’, The Historical Journal 49, no. 2 (2006): 453–76.
− Marta A. Balinska, ‘Assistance and not mere Relief: The Epidemic Commission of the League of Nations’, in International Health Organisations and Movements, 1918-1939, ed. Paul Weindling (Cambridge: UP, 1995), 81-108.
− Lorna Weir et al., ‘The World Health Organization and the Transition from “International” to “Global” Health’, in Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security, 1850 to the Present, ed. Alison Bashford (N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 76–94.
− Sunil Amrith, ‘In Search of a “Magic Bullet” for Tuberculosis: South India and Beyond, 1955-1965’, Social History of Medicine 17, no. 1 (2004): 113–30.
− Marcos Cueto, ‘Appropriation and Resistance: Local Responses to Malaria Eradication in Mexico, 1955-1970’, Journal of Latin American Studies 37, no. 3 (2005): 533-559.
− Monica Rull, Ilona Kickbusch, and Helen Lauer, ‘Policy Debate | International Responses to Global Epidemics: Ebola and Beyond’, International Development Policy 6, no. 2 (2015).
− Heidi J. S. Tworek, ‘Communicable Disease: Information, Health, and Globalization in the Interwar Period’, The American Historical Review 124, no. 3 (2019): 813–42.
− Davide Rodogno and Thomas David, ‘All the World Loves a Picture. The World Health Organization’s Visual Politics, 1948–1973’, in Humanitarian Photography: A History, ed. Heide Fehrenbach and Davide Rodogno (Cambridge: UP, 2015), 223–38.
− John M. Kirk, ‘Cuban Medical Internationalism and Its Role in Cuban Foreign Policy’, Diplomacy & Statecraft 20, no. 2 (5 August 2009): 275–90.
− Paul Weindling, Epidemics and Genocide in Eastern Europe, 1890–1945 (Oxford: UP, 2000) (Excerpt)

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

VM5 / VM1

Letzte Änderung: Mi 21.04.2021 11:26