A Viral History of the World

The discussants are

Prof Per Axelsson of Umea University Sweden, who has worked on polio in Sweden and on Sami health and history.

Prof Linda Bryder, who has written on TB in the UK, the Spanish Flu in New Zealand and in the Pacific

Prof Janet McCalman who taught the interdisciplinary subject ‘An Ecological History of Humanity’ for sixteen years and works on historical population health.

The host is Emma Dawson, director of Per Capita

Epidemics have done much to shape the world, and they arise from things humans do such as domesticating animals, interrupting disease ecologies, living in cities, trading and travelling, organising societies unfairly and cruelly. When they erupt, they also expose the structural fault lines in societies. In a ‘A Viral History of the World’ historians of health and medicine from Sweden, New Zealand and Australia reflect on the impact of epidemics and pandemics from bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, tuberculosis to the Spanish Flu and the novel viruses that have afflicted us from HIV onwards. The discussion will conclude with Covid-19 and our own time.


More Information

Professor Janet McCalman