Resources for thinking with and understanding the Covid-19 pandemic: An interdisciplinary and eclectic reading list
Updated: 24 April 2020
One of the strengths of good scholarship in the humanities and social sciences is to provide fundamental perspectives and insights useful when trying to understand new and challenging situations. Whilst there is no lack of coverage about the Covid-19 pandemic in the news, the aim of this curated reading list is to provide suggestions of substantive scholarship and readings that can be helpful for cultivating our understanding of the Covid-19 pandemic and what it might mean to culture and society.
Note: This is a collectively resourced and evolving resource! Please do not hesitate to suggest additions to this list to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the format we use for entries (reference, link and a short snippet indicating why the item qualifies as a resource for thinking about the Covid-19 pandemic). Also, do not hesitate to contact at the same address if you for any reason think that a suggested reading should be removed from the list.
Aberth, John (2010). From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages. London: Routledge
“Taking his themes from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, John Aberth describes how the lives of ordinary people were transformed by a series of crises, including the Great Famine, the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. Yet he also shows how prayers, chronicles, poetry, and especially commemorative art reveal an optimistic people, whose belief in the apocalypse somehow gave them the ability to transcend the woes they faced on this earth.”
Abeysinghe, Sudeepa (2015). Pandemics, Science and Policy; H1n1 and the World Health Organisation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
“[This study] analyses the World Health Organisation's (WHO) management of the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic. Abeysinghe illustrates the ways in which the WHO's account was vulnerable to contestation, and ultimately how uncertain risks can affect policy and action on the global level.”
Appleby, Jo (2017). ‘Ageing and the Body in Archaeology.’ Cambridge Archaeological Journal 28(1), pp. 145-163
“How we think about ageing bodies is relevant to a disease outbreak which disproportionately affects the elderly. Sometimes looking across a long-time perspective can give us insight into the particularity of our own ideas.”
Baldwin, Peter (1999). Contagion and the State in Europe, 1830-1930. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
“Did the varying political regimes influence the styles of precaution adopted? Or was it, as Peter Baldwin argues, a matter of more basic differences between nations, above all their geographic placement in the epidemiological trajectory of contagion, that helped shape their responses and their basic assumptions about the respective claims of the sick and of society, and fundamental political decisions for and against different styles of statutory intervention?”
Baldwin, Peter (2007). Disease and Democracy: The Industrialized World Faces AIDS. Berkeley: University of California Press
“This is a refreshing and readable book in which AIDS is used as a lens to understand the public health enterprise ranging from leprosy and syphilis to tuberculosis and SARS.”
Barry, John M. (2004). The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. New York: Viking
“As Barry concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart."”
Bashford, Alison (2003). Imperial Hygiene. A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism and Public Health. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
“This is a cultural history of borders, hygiene and race. It is about foreign bodies, from Victorian Vaccines to the pathologized interwar immigrant, from smallpox quarantine to the leper colony, from sexual hygiene to national hygiene to imperial hygiene.”
Bashford, Alison. (ed.) (2006). Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security, 1850 to the Present. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
“This book explores the pressing issues of border control and infectious disease from the nineteenth to present day. The book places world health in world history, microbes and their management in globalization, and disease in the history of international relations, bringing together leading scholars on the history and politics of global health.”
Benedictow Ole J. (2004). The Black Death 1346–1353: The Complete History. Woodbridge: Boydell Press
“This book is the first comprehensive history and assessment of its progress, and of the death and devastation it left in its wake, in all the countries through which it passed.”
Bengtsson, Louise (2019). Health security in the European Union: agents, practices and materialities of securitization. Diss. Stockholm: Stockholm University
“Over the past two decades, the notion of ‘health security’ has emerged as a central tenet of European Union (EU) public health policy. This PhD thesis examines the rise and implications of health security cooperation, associated with an imperative to fight ‘bioterrorist attacks’, pandemics and other natural or man-made events.”
Berglund, Victor (1918). Spanska sjukan: Några upplysningar och råd. Halmstad: Joh. A. Svensson
Samtida råd till allmänheten under spanska sjukan.
Bisgaard, Lars & Søndergaard, Leif (eds.) (2009). Living with the Black Death. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark
“This book deals with plague, particularly in Northern Europe, in various aspects: epidemiology, pattern of dispersion, demography, social consequences, religious impact and representation in pictorial art and written sources.”
Bjørkdahl, Kristian & Carlsen, Benedicte (ed.) (2019). Pandemics, Publics, and Politics: Staging Responses to Public Health Crises. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan
“[New challenges] include fragmentation of media, tribalization of "knowledge regimes," the increasingly troubled status of scientific and political expertise, growing cross-continental mobility, as well as the globalization and commercialization of pandemic response systems. These distinctive complexities make the need to stage public action in response to pandemics and other public health crises a crucial problem, on which thousands of human lives hinge.”
Blakely, Debra Ellen (2007). Mass Mediated Disease: A Case Study Analysis of Three Flu Pandemics and Public Health Policy. Lanham: Lexington Books
“This groundbreaking work demonstrates that the social construction of influenza changed over time, which was reflected by the mass media, and ultimately resulted in public policies that clearly illustrate the link between media and policy formation in the United States. This comprehensive history serves as an example for future incidents involving mass casualties or mass contamination from infectious agents -especially on what to expect, what to do, and what not to do regarding the crisis response, reportage, and resulting policies.”
Brattberg, Erik & Rhinard, Mark (2011). ‘Multilevel Governance and Complex Threats: The Case of Pandemic Preparedness in the European Union and the United States’. Global Health Governance. 5:1, pp. 1-21
“Drawing upon securitization theory and traditional implementation theory, this article compares the extent to which the EU and the US have turned words into action on pandemic preparation.”
Brzobohatá Hana, Frolík, Jan & Zazvonilová Eliska (2019). ‘Bioarchaeology of Past Epidemic- and Famine-Related Mass Burials with Respect to Recent Findings from the Czech Republic’. Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica: Natural Sciences in Archaeology, Vol. X, No. 1, pp. 79-87.
“We summarize the discoveries of epidemic- and famine-related graves that are temporally and spatially restricted to the medieval/early modern Czech territory, paying special attention to recently unearthed mass burials in Kutná Hora-Sedlec. These burial pits are historically and contextually associated with a famine in the early 14th century and with the Black Death in the mid-14th century.”
Buccieri, Kristy & Gaetz, Stephen (2013). ‘Ethical Vaccine Distribution Planning for Pandemic Influenza: Prioritizing Homeless and Hard-to-Reach Populations’. Public Health Ethics, Vol. 6, no 2, pp. 185–196
“We begin by reviewing debates around ethical vaccine distribution. We then argue the homeless are a medically high-risk population who may contribute to the spread of disease through their mobility.”
Butter, Michael & Knight, Peter (2020). Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories. London: Routledge
Takes a comprehensive overview of conspiracy theories as an important social, cultural and political phenomenon in contemporary life. Useful for understanding alternative views on pandemics and their societal consequences.
Byrne, Joseph Patrick (ed.) (2008). Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues. Vol 1-2. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press
A two-volume encyclopedia on present and past epidemics.
Caduff, Carlo (2014). ‘Pandemic Prophecy, or How to Have Faith in Reason’. Current Anthropology, 55 (3), pp. 296-315
“In scientific discourse, as well as in public debates, scientists are often presented as charismatic prophets with a message for the people. My aim, in this article, is to explore the place of prophecy in today’s politics of pandemic preparedness in the United States.”
Caduff, Carlo (2015). The Pandemic Perhaps: Dramatic Events in a Public Culture of Danger. University of California Press
“The Pandemic Perhaps tells the story of what happened when nothing really happened. Drawing on fieldwork among scientists and public health professionals in New York City, the book is an investigation of how actors and institutions produced a scene of extreme expectation through the circulation of dramatic plague visions.”
Caferro, William (2018). Petrarch's War: Florence and the Black Death in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
“This revisionist account of the economic, literary and social history of Florence in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death connects warfare with the plague narrative. Organised around Petrarch's 'war' against the Ubaldini clan of 1349–1350, which formed the prelude to his meeting and friendship with Boccaccio, William Caferro's work examines the institutional and economic effects of the war, alongside literary and historical patterns.”
Castenbrandt, Helene (2012). Rödsot i Sverige 1750-1900: en sjukdoms demografiska och medicinska historia. Diss. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet
”This thesis describes the demographic consequences of dysentery in Sweden and at the same time analyzes the causes behind the presence and disappearance of the disease.” (In Swedish)
Castex, Dominique, Brůžek, Jaroslav, Velemínský, Petr & Sellier Pascal (2007). ‘Epidemic mortality crises of the past: Bioarchaeological approach’. Slov. Antropol., Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 6-13.
“Are there any specific lesions on the bones which indicate the nature of the mortality crisis? What are the age and sex distributions of the individuals concerned? How much does this tell us about the crisis affecting a population? Several sites, from various chronological periods, have now benefitted from analyses which authorise some extent of interpretation, particularly where the crises are due to an epidemic.”
Christakos, George et al. (eds.) (2005). Interdisciplinary Public Health Reasoning and Epidemic Modelling: The Case of Black Death. Berlin: Springer
“[…] a series of detailed space-time maps of Black Death mortality, infected area propagation, and epidemic centroid paths throughout the 14th century AD Europe. Preparation of the maps took into account the uncertain nature of the data and integrated a variety of interdisciplinary knowledge bases about the devastating epidemic.”
Cohen, Ed. (2011). ‘The paradoxical politics of viral containment; or, how scale undoes us one and all’. Social Text, 29(106), pp. 15-35.
“In other words, we need to think of viral epidemics in terms of how we narrate scale, since that is how we account for the ways in which living takes place in time.”
Cohn, Samuel (2007). ‘After the Black Death: Labour Legislation and Attitudes Towards Labour in Late-Medieval Western Europe’. Economic History Review 60 (3), pp. 457-485
“[…] The new municipal and royal efforts to control labour and artisans' prices emerged from fears of the greed and supposed new powers of subaltern classes and are better understood in the contexts of anxiety that sprung forth from the Black Death's new horrors of mass mortality and destruction, resulting in social behaviour such as the flagellant movement and the persecution of Jews, Catalans, and beggars.”
Cohn, Samuel (2017). ‘Cholera revolts: a class struggle we may not like’. Social history, 42 (2), pp. 162-180
“The article then poses the question of why historians on the left have not studied the class struggles provoked by cholera, with riots of 10,000, murdering state officials and doctors, destroying hospitals, town halls, and in the case of Donetsk, an entire city.”
Cohn, Samuel K., Jr. (2002). The Black Death Transformed: Disease and Culture in early Renaissance Europe. London: Bloomsbury
“The Black Death in Europe, from its arrival in 1347-52 through successive waves into the early modern period, has been seriously misunderstood. It is clear from the compelling evidence presented in this revolutionary account that the Black Death was almost any disease other than the rat-based bubonic plague whose bacillus was discovered in 1894.”
Craddock, Susan (2000). City of Plagues. Disease, Poverty and Deviance in San Francisco. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
“An absorbing look at the role of disease and health policy in the construction of race, gender, and class and in urban development in nineteenth- and twentieth-century San Francisco.”
Crawford, Sally (2010). ‘Differentiation in the Later Anglo-Saxon Burial Ritual on the Basis of Mental or Physical Impairment: A Documentary Perspective’. In: Burial in later Anglo-Saxon England c. 650-1100 AD. Buckberry, Jo & Cherryson, Annia (eds.), Oxford, England: Oxbow Books, pp. 93-102
Differential treatment of “healthy” and “unhealthy” bodies in burial practices in Anglo-Saxon England.
Dachez, Hélène (2016). ‘Fashioning Unfashionable Plague: Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year (1722)’. In: Disease and Death in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Ingram A., Wetherall Dickson L. (eds), London: Palgrave Macmillan
“[…] plague may be called unfashionable in that it is not reserved for an elite or linked to refinement. It is a wide-ranging disease which carries no social cachet and hits everyone, with no distinction of class, gender, age or occupation. If H. F., Defoe’s persona in A Journal of the Plague Year, keeps repeating that poor people are more often its victims than wealthy ones, he nevertheless insists on the fact that ‘no Difference [was] made, but Poor and Rich went together’ into the pit.”
Defoe, Daniel (1722). A Journal of the Plague Year. London: E. Nutt.
“The novel is a fictionalized account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London.”
De Franco, Chiara. & Meyer, Christoph O. (eds.) (2011). Forecasting, Warning and Responding to Transnational Risks. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
“Assembling a high-profile group of scholars and practitioners, this book investigates the interplay of forecasting; warnings about, and responses to, known and unknown transnational risks. It challenges conventional accounts of 'failures' of warning and preventive policy in both the academic literature and public debate.”
DeWitte, Sharon N. (2016). ‘Archaeological Evidence of Epidemics Can Inform Future Epidemics’. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 45, pp. 63-77
“Research on epidemics in the past provides a temporal depth to our understanding of the context and consequences of diseases and is crucial for predicting how diseases might shape human biology and demography in the future.”
Doherty, Peter C. (2013). Pandemics: what everyone needs to know. New York: Oxford University Press
“ […] Nobel Prize-winning immunologist Peter Doherty addresses the history of pandemics and the ones that persist today, what promotes global spread, types of pathogens and the level of threat they pose, as well as how to combat outbreaks and mitigate their effects.”
Dietz, J. Eric. & Black, David R. (eds.) (2012). Pandemic Planning. Boca Raton: CRC Press
“Steeped in research and recommendations from lessons learned, Pandemic Planning describes the processes necessary for the efficient and effective preparation, prevention, response, and recovery from a pandemic threat.”
Echenberg, Myron J. (2011). Africa in the Time of Cholera: A History of Pandemics from 1817 to the Present. New York: Cambridge University Press
“This book combines evidence from natural and social sciences to examine the impact on Africa of seven cholera pandemics since 1817, particularly the current impact of cholera on such major countries as Senegal, Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
Eklöf, Motzi (ed.) (2020). Humanimalt. Oss djur emellan - i medicin och samhälle, förr och nu. Exempla förlag
”Humanmedicin möter djurmedicin i en rad högaktuella historiska fallstudier. Forskare skriver kort och spännande - både roande och oroande - om epidemier, vaccination och dissektion, om mat, medicin och bot ur historiskt och nutida perspektiv.” (In Swedish)
Eklöf, Motzi (2015). ’Den obligatoriska smittkoppsvaccinationen ifrågasatt. Kättaren Israel Holmgren om kaninpassager, kårinstinkter och känsloskäl’. Svensk medicinhistorisk tidskrift 19(1), pp. 157-180
Om professor Israel Holmgren, som ansåg den obligatoriska smittkoppsvaccinationen vara ett socialhygieniskt stordåd under 1800-talet, men som var motståndare till tvång under 1900-talet. (In Swedish)
Eklöf, Motzi (2015). ’Preventionens vapenvägrare. Samvete, vetenskap eller personlig erfarenhet – om (il)legitima skäl till undantag från obligatorisk smittkoppsvaccination’. Socialmedicinsk tidskrift 19(1), pp. 662-673
Ett historiskt bidrag till frågan om frivillig eller obligatorisk vaccination. (In Swedish)
Eklöf, Motzi (2018). Fallet Blända. Statens serumtillverkning, en skandal och vetenskaplig krishantering. Malmköping: Exempla
”Om tillkomsten av föregångaren till Statens bakteriologiska laboratorium, den tidiga tillverkningen av serum mot difteri och hanteringen av stelkrampsframkallande serum och relationen mellan humanmedicin och veterinärmedicin.” (In Swedish)
Eklöf, Motzi (2018). ’Den prejudicerande pastorn. Jacobson v. Massachusetts – en svensk-amerikansk historia om staten och individen, smittkoppsvaccinationen och folkhälsopolitiken’. Svensk medicinhistorisk tidskrift, vol. 22, pp. 101-120
”En utvandrad svensk i centrum för nordamerikanskt prejudikat på folkhälsoområdet från 1900-talets början som fortfarande står sig.” (In Swedish)
Eklöf, Motzi (2019). ‘Smallpox in Malmö, Sweden 1932: Disputed knowledge of infection, contagion and vaccination’. In: Hansson, Nils & Wistrand, Jonatan (eds.). Explorations in Baltic Medical History, 1850-2000. Rochester: Rochester University Press
“On the smallpox epidemic and mass vaccination in Malmö 1932 and the problematic aftermath related to the vaccine and different opinions between medical authorities”.
Elbe, Stefan (2017). Pandemics, Pills, and Politics: Governing Global Health Security. Johns Hopkins University Press.
“A pill can strengthen national security? The suggestion may seem odd, but many states around the world believe precisely that. Confronted with pandemics, bioterrorism, and emerging infectious diseases, governments are transforming their security policies to include the proactive development, acquisition, stockpiling, and mass distribution of new pharmaceutical defenses. What happens—politically, economically, and socially—when governments try to protect their populations with pharmaceuticals?”
Elbe, Stefan (2010). Security and Global Health: Toward the Medicalization of Insecurity. Cambridge, UK: Polity
“In this book Stefan Elbe shows that in the new millennium international politics is no longer characterized by its preoccupation with a single disease, but precisely by its need to urgently confront what is now an epidemic of epidemics. Over the past decade a whole host of diverse global health issues have raised the highest levels of political concern, provoking governments and international institutions to tackle such health threats through the prism of security - be it national security, biosecurity, or human security.”
Engelmann, Lukas (2019). ‘Configurations of Plague: Spatial Diagrams in Early Epidemiology.’ Social Analysis 63 (4), pp. 89-109
“This article will look at two spatial diagrams of plague across a period in which an epidemiological way of reasoning stood in stark contrast to arguments provided about plague in the rising field of bacteriology and experimental medicine. This historical genealogy of epidemiologists working with diagrams challenges perceptions of epidemic diagrams as mere arguments of causality to emphasize diagrammatic notions of uncertainty, crisis, and invisibility.”
Engelmann, Lukas, Henderson, John & Lynteris, Christos (eds.) (2018). Plague and the City. London: Routledge
“Plague and the City uncovers discourses of plague and anti-plague measures in the city during the medieval, early modern and modern periods, and explores the connection between plague and urban environments including attempts by professional bodies to prevent or limit the outbreak of epidemic disease.”
Erlandson, Lars Gunnar (2011). Jakten på massmördaren som kom undan: i spåren av Spanska sjukans virus 1918 och andra pandemier. Stockholm: Carlsson
“Spanska sjukan tog mer än 50 miljoner liv 1918 och de följande två åren. I Sverige dog omkring 35 000 människor när ett aggressivt virus spred influensan. Ingen pandemi har mördat så många människor under så kort tid. Lars Gunnar Erlandson, mångårig utrikeskorrespondent på Sveriges Radio, har sökt upp två nyckelpersoner som bidragit till att gåtan kring massmördaren som kom undan kommit närmare sin lösning.” (In Swedish)
’Etik och politik i epidemibekämpning’. Temanummer av Socialmedicinsk tidskrift, vol. 96, no. 6, 2015.
Farmer, Paul et al. (eds.) (2013). Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction. Berkeley: University of California Press
“[…] the authors underline the importance of a transdisciplinary approach, and offer a highly readable distillation of several historical and ethnographic perspectives of contemporary global health problems.”
Ferme, Valerio (2015). Women, Enjoyment, and the Defence of Virtue in Boccaccio’s Decameron. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US
“Providing new ways of reading Boccaccio's masterpiece, Decameron, Ferme analyzes the dynamics between the women who rule the first half of the story. Peeling back the many narrative layers within and outside of the framework, this book unearths the complications and trickery surrounding gender and death in Boccaccio's world and culture.”
Fynn-Paul, Jeff (2015). The Rise and Decline of an Iberian Bourgeoisie: Manresa in the Later Middle Ages, 1250-1500. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press
”Drawing from extensive archival research, including legal and administrative records, royal letters, and a cadastral survey of more than 640 households entitled the 1408 Liber Manifesti, the author surveys the economic strategies of both elites and non-elites to a level previously unknown for any medieval town outside of Tuscany and Ghent. [The book] reveals how a combination of the Black Death, royal policy, and a new public debt system challenged, and finally undermined urban resilience in Catalonia.”
Giles, Melanie (2015). ‘Performing Pain, Performing Beauty: Dealing With Difficult Death in the Iron Age.’ Cambridge Archaeological Journal 25(03): pp. 539-550
“Traumatic death rends the fabric of personal and social relations in a manner that is qualitatively different to other kinds of mortality. Mourners must deal with the personal affects, familial consequences and political aftermath of such events. This paper examines the way in which performances around such difficult deaths were used to express and negotiate trauma, through the lens of Iron Age burials in Britain and Ireland.”
Green, Monica H. & Symes, Carol L. (eds.) (2015). Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death. Kalamazoo, MI.: Arc Humanities Press.
“This ground-breaking book brings together scholars from the humanities and social and physical sciences to address the question of how recent work in the genetics, zoology, and epidemiology of plague’s causative organism (Yersinia pestis) can allow a rethinking of the Black Death pandemic and its larger historical significance.”
Gregoricka, Lesley A., Betsinger, Tracy K., Scott, Amy B. & Polcyn, Marek (2014). ‘Apotropaic practices and the undead: a biogeochemical assessment of deviant burials in post-medieval Poland.’ PLoS ONE 9 (11).
Magical practices in burial rituals during 17th century pandemics.
Gunn, Jennifer, Giles-Vernick, Tamara & Craddock, Susan (eds.) (2010). Influenza and Public Health. Learning from Past Pandemics. Taylor and Francis
“This book investigates past influenza pandemics in light of today's, so as to afford critical insights into possible transmission patterns, experiences, mistakes, and interventions.”
Hamilton, Sheryl N. (2017). ‘Rituals of intimate legal touch: regulating the end-of-game handshake in pandemic culture’. The Senses and Society, 12 (1), pp. 53-68
“This article situates recent attempts to regulate the end-of-game handshake in youth team sports within a broader context of the troubling of touch within pandemic culture. It suggests that the end-of-game handshake is most productively understood as simultaneously: embodied ritual, form of intimate touch, and legal gesture.”
Haraway, Donna (1999). ‘The Biopolitics of Postmodern Bodies: Determinations of Self in Immune System Discourse’. In: Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader, Price, Janet & Shildrick, Margrit (eds.), New York: Routledge
“This chapter explores some of the contending popular and technical languages constructing biomedical, biotechnical bodies and selves in postmodern scientific culture in the United States in the 1980s. It emphasizes the multiple and specific cultural dialects interlaced in any social negotiation of disease, illness, and sickness in the contemporary worlds marked by biological research, biotechnology, and scientific medicine.”
Harper, Kyle (2019). The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press
“How devastating viruses, pandemics, and other natural catastrophes swept through the far-flung Roman Empire and helped to bring down one of the mightiest civilizations of the ancient world.”
Harrison, Dick (2019). Digerdöden. Lund: Historiska Media
Populärvetenskaplig sammanfattning om Digerdöden. ”Han berättar om hur sjukdomen uppstod och hur den spreds mellan länder. Vi möter hjältarna, som med livet som insats, försökte bota gamla och unga som smittats. Hur påverkades Sverige och länderna i Norden? Vad var det som till slut fick stopp på digerdödens framfart? Och varför kallas digerdöden ofta för ”svarta döden”?”
Harrison, Mark (2012). Contagion:How Commerce has Spread Disease. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press
“So demonstrates Mark Harrison in this pathbreaking investigation of the intimate connections between trade and disease throughout modern history. For centuries commerce has been the single most important factor in spreading diseases to different parts of the world, the author shows, and today the same is true. But in today's global world, commodities and germs are circulating with unprecedented speed.”
Hays, J. N. (2005). Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO
From outbreaks of disease in 5th Century Athens to modern spread of tuberculosis, this book presents a selection of historical case studies of epidemics and pandemics.
Holladay A. J. & Poole J.C.F. (1979). ‘Thucydides and the Plague of Athens’. The Classical Quarterly, Vol. 29, pp. 282-300
“Two problems involving Thucydides and medicine have attracted intense treatment by classical scholars and medical men working separately or in combination. They are, first, the nature of the Athenian Plague which Thucydides describes and, second, the possibility of his having been influenced by the doctrines and outlook of Hippocrates and his followers.”
Hodes, Rebecca (2014). Broadcasting the Pandemic: A History of HIV on South African Television. Cape Town, South Africa: HSRC Press
“Broadcasting the Pandemic traces the show's evolution, exploring how Beat It! used the medium of television to inform its viewers about HIV at a time of increasingly rapid infection rates, but in which government education and treatment campaigns were largely absent.”
Hewlett, Barry S. & Hewlett, Bonnie L. (2008). Ebola, Culture, and Politics: The Anthropology of an Emerging Disease. Belmont, CA: Thomson
“The Hewletts are the first anthropologists ever invited by the World Health Organization to join a medical intervention team and assist in efforts to control an Ebola outbreak. Their account addresses political, structural, psychological, and cultural factors, along with conventional intervention protocols as problematic to achieving medical objectives.”
Holmberg, Martin (2020). Pandemier och epidemier: ett tvärvetenskapligt perspektiv. Lund: Studentlitteratur
“Särskilt pandemier kräver en bred tvärvetenskaplig ansats för att förstås. Inte bara virus eller bakterier, utan även ekologisk och fysisk miljö, samhällsomvandlingar och människors uppfattningar och handlingar påverkar hur pandemier och epidemier uppstår och försvinner.” (In Swedish)
Holmberg, Martin (2017). ‘The ghost of pandemic past: revisiting two centuries of influenza in Sweden’. Medical Humanities, Vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 141-147
“The past 200 years of influenza epidemics in Sweden are examined with a special focus on key social structures—households, schools, transportations and the military. These are shown to have influenced the progression of influenza pandemics. Prevailing beliefs around influenza pandemics have also profoundly influenced intervention strategies.”
Holmberg, Martin & Lundgren, Britta (2018). Framing post-pandemic preparedness: comparing eight European Ppans. Global Public Health. 13:1, pp. 99-114
“This paper is based on the pandemic preparedness plans, published after 2009, from eight European countries. We study how pandemic preparedness is framed and how pandemic influenza in general is narrated in the plans.”
Honigsbaum, Mark (2020). A History of the Great Influenza Pandemics. Death, Panic and Hysteria, 1830-1920. Bloomsbury Academic
“Through outlining the history of influenza in the period, Mark Honigsbaum describes how the fear of disease permeated Victorian culture. These fears were amplified by the invention of the telegraph and the ability of the new mass-market press to whip up public hysteria.”
Hooker, Claire et al. (2011). ‘Journalists’ views about reporting avian influenza and a potential pandemic: a qualitative study’. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 6 (3), pp. 224–229
“The mass media is a key component of any public communication strategy for influenza or other respiratory illnesses, but coverage can be variable. In this study, we explored the factors that influenced journalists’ coverage of avian influenza as a model for coverage of a potential influenza pandemic.”
Hooker, Claire & Bashford, Alison (eds.) (2001). Contagion: Historical and Cultural Studies. London: Routledge
“Contagion explores cultural responses of infectious diseases and their biomedical management over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also investigates the use of 'contagion' as a concept in postmodern reconceptualisations of embodied subjectivity.”
Huremović, Damir (Ed) (2019). Psychiatry of Pandemics. A Mental Health Response to Infection Outbreak. Springer International Publishing
“The text acknowledges the new infectious disease challenges presented by climate changes and considers how to implement systems to prepare for these issues from an infection and social psyche perspective.”
Hämäläinen, Pekka (ed.) (2006). When Disease Makes History: Epidemics and Great Historical Turning Points. Helsinki: Yliopistopaino
“The essays examine how epidemics have shaken power relations among human societies, influenced seemingly self-contained political processes, transformed economies, fueled mass migrations across continents, given rise to new imperial and international orders, and altered humans’ perceptions of their bodies, minds, and gods.”
Jakob, Betina (2009). Prevalence and patterns of disease in early medieval populations: a comparison of skeletal samples of the 5th to 8th centuries AD from Britain and southwestern Germany. Oxford, BAR International Series
A PhD thesis with explanations of how archaeologists approach disease and trauma in past populations.
Jandrić, Petar (2020). ‘Postdigital Research in the Time of Covid-19.’ Postdigital Science and Education 2, pp. 233–238
“Postdigital viral modernity is equally about biology, culture, and society; in the long run, humanity cannot defend itself from Covid-19 and create a better future without engaging all strata of the society.”
Kamradt-Scott, Adam & Lee, Kelley (2011). ’The 2011 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework: Global Health Secured or a Missed Opportunity?’ Political Studies, 59 (4), pp. 831–847
“[…] Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIPF) was agreed at the 64th World Health Assembly in May 2011. This article investigates the events that prompted the re-examination of a technical cooperation system that has provided effective global health security on influenza for 60 years, and evaluates the framework that has now been agreed.”
Kapoor, Sanjay. & Dhama, Kuldeep (2014). Insight into Influenza Viruses of Animals and Humans. Cham: Springer International Publishing
“This book provides salient information on all aspects of influenza/flu viruses affecting animals and humans. It specifically reviews the properties and replication of influenza viruses; their evolution and emergence; epidemiology; role of migratory birds in disease transmission; clinical signs in humans, animals, and poultry; pathogenesis and pathogenicity; public health importance and potential threats; diagnosis; prevention and control measures; and pandemic preparedness.”
Kaufmann, Stefan (2009). The New Plagues: Pandemics and Poverty in a Globalized World. London: Haus Publishing
“[This book] explores the strategies of microbes in conjunction with the economic impact of epidemics. In particular, it looks at the conflict between rich and poor with regard to outbreaks, and introduces possible strategies for containment.”
Keck, Frédéric (2019). ‘Livestock Revolution and Ghostly Apparitions: South China as a Sentinel Territory for Influenza Pandemics.’ Current Anthropology 60 (S20), pp. 251-259
“This article develops three ethnographic scenes in Hong Kong reflecting three narratives of pandemic influenza as a side effect of the livestock revolution: an expert’s view of the Hong Kong territory as a sentinel post on the edge of the epicenter for pandemic flu, a farmer’s view of Hong Kong as a colonial experimentation on ways to raise chickens industrially, and a bird-watcher’s view of Hong Kong as a place full of bird spirits.”
Keck, Frédéric (2020). Avian Reservoirs: Virus Hunters and Birdwatchers in Chinese Sentinel Posts. Durham: Duke University Press
“[This book traces] how the anticipation of bird flu pandemics has changed relations between birds and humans in China. […] In outlining how interactions among pathogens, birds, and humans shape the way people imagine future pandemics, Keck illuminates how interspecies relations are crucial for protecting against such threats.”
Kelly, Ann H., Keck, Frédéric & Lynteris, Christos (eds.) (2019). The Anthropology of Epidemics. London: Routledge
“The Anthropology of Epidemics approaches epidemics as total social phenomena: processes and events which encompass and exercise a transformational impact on social life whilst at the same time functioning as catalysts of shifts and ruptures as regards human/non-human relations.”
Kerr, Kathleen et al. (2013). ‘Visualization and rhetoric: Key concerns for utilizing big data in humanities research: A case study of vaccination discourses: 1918-1919’. 2013 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, Silicon Valley, CA, pp. 25-32.
“This paper describes efforts to utilize “big data” in a case study of news reporting on vaccination before, during, and after the 1918 influenza pandemic, focusing primarily on the conventions underlying methods of data extraction, data visualization practices, and the rhetorical impact of visualization design choices on researchers' observations and interpretive decisions.”
Lagerås, Per (ed.) (2016). Environment, Society and the Black Death: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Late-Medieval Crisis in Sweden. Oxford: Oxbow Books
“Most of the research so far has been based on the study of written sources, and the dominating perspective has been the one of economic history. A different approach is presented here by using evidence and techniques from archaeology and the natural sciences. Special focus is on environmental and social changes in the wake of the Black Death.”
Larsson, Daniel (2015). Kolera: samhället, idéerna och katastrofen 1834. Stockholm: Carlssons
A study on the cholera outbreak of 1834 in Sweden and the practical and ideological reasoning behind the measures taken to prevent spread. (In Swedish)
Larsson, Daniel et al. (2017). “Egyptian Plagues and the Destruction of Jerusalem”. Famine, Epidemics and the Legitimizing of Power in Early Modern Sweden. Paper presented at Explaining Famines, Defining Responsibilities, University of Turku, Finland, Thu 12 – Sun 15 January 2017.
“Just as foreign for today’s natural scientific world view, and just as apparent, was the connection between religion and sin on the one hand, famine and epidemics on the other, for the thinking of the time.”
Larsson, Daniel (2019). ‘Diseases in Early Modern Sweden. A Parish-level Study 1631-1775’. Scandinavian Journal of History.
“It presents new research about which diagnoses were most common, how often the more prevalent diseases of fevers, smallpox, and dysentery broke out, and the varying role of diseases on mortality rates during bad harvest years.”
Lee, Francis. (Fortchcoming). ‘Sensing Salmonella: Modes of Sensing and the Politics of Sensing Infrastructures.’ In: Sensing Security: Sensors and the Making of Transnational Security Infrastructures, Witjes, Nina, Pöchhacker, Nikolaus & Bowker, Geoffrey C. (eds.), London: Mattering Press, pp. 1–34
“[…] the chapter analyzes how different sensing infrastructures create different understandings of what an epidemic is, where it originates and develops, and what its essential properties are. In essence: how different modes of sensing constitute disease outbreaks in different manners.”
Levina, Marina (2015). Pandemics and the Media. New York: Peter Lang
”Offering a comprehensive analysis of mediated representations of global pandemics, this book engages with the construction, management, and classification of difference in the global context of a pandemic, to address what it means – culturally, politically, and economically – to live in an infected, diseased body.”
Lewis, Mary (2016). ‘Work and the Adolescent in Medieval England ad 900–1550: The Osteological Evidence.’ Medieval Archaeology 60(1): 138-171.
The effects of the Black Death on adolescents from osteological analyses of bones from archaeological excavations. The study shows that it was the urban females that carried the burden of respiratory and infectious diseases suggesting they may have been the most vulnerable group.
Lohm, Davina & Davis, Mark (2020). Pandemics, Publics, and Narrative. Oxford University Press
“This book explores how members of the general public experienced the 2009 swine flu pandemic. It examines the stories related to us by individuals about what happened to them in 2009, their reflections on news and expert advice given to them, and how they considered vaccination, social isolation, and other infection control measures.”
Long, William J. (2011). Pandemics and Peace: Public Health Cooperation in Zones of Conflict. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace Press
“As difficult as pandemic prevention is as an overall global policy challenge, it is that much more difficult in zones of conflict.”
Lundgren, Britta (2015). ‘Rhyme or reason?’ Saying no to mass vaccination: subjective re-interpretation in the context of the A(H1N1) influenza pandemic in Sweden 2009–2010’. Medical Humanities 41, pp. 107-112
“This article explores written responses to a questionnaire from a Swedish folk life archive as an unconventional source for analysing vaccine decisions. The aim is to investigate how laypersons responded to and re-interpreted the message about the recommended vaccination in their answers.”
Lundgren, Britta & Holmberg, Martin (2015). ’Svininfluensapandemin i backspegeln’. Socialmedicinsk tidskrift, vol. 92, no. 6, pp. 683-695
”Artikeln diskuterar pandemiberedskapens betoning på massvaccination som åtgärd och hur myndigheter och politiker agerade i konsensus i budskapen: skydda dig själv, skydda andra, hindra smittspridning. Det underliggande solidaritetsargumentet kräver ett ansvarstagande när en oväntad biverkning uppstår. I kommande folkhälsoarbete krävs en medvetenhet om solidaritetens relationella och reciproka komponenter, vilket också innebär att kompetens inom pandemiberedskap behöver utvidgas till att också omfatta humaniora och samhällsvetenskap.” (In Swedish)
Lundgren, Britta & Holmberg, Martin (2017). ‘Pandemic flus and vaccination policies in Sweden’. In: The politics of vaccination: a global history, Blume, Stuart S., Holmberg, Christine & Greenough, Paul R. (Eds.), Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 260-287
“This chapter discusses pandemic influenza as both an old and a contemporary problem, and places it within the framework of national and international flu vaccination practices.”
Lynteris, Christos (2016). ‘The Prophetic Faculty of Epidemic Photography: Chinese Wet Markets and the Imagination of the Next Pandemic’. Visual Anthropology, 29 (2), pp. 118-132
“Examining the temporality of spillover events and the dialectic between their visibility and invisibility, the article argues that the photographic visualization of points of pandemic eruption sets in place a prophetic faculty. Imaging spillover as an inevitable destiny and, at the same time, as having always or already occurred, wet market photography constitutes a new biomedical temporality that institutes human extinction as a never-completed but always in process end-event.”
Lynteris, Christos (2016). Ethnographic Plague: Configuring Disease on the Chinese-Russian Frontier. London: Palgrave Macmillan
“Ethnographic Plague argues for the role of ethnography as a vital contributor to the configuration of plague at the turn of the nineteenth century.”
Lynteris, Christos (2019). Human Extinction and the Pandemic Imaginary. London: Routledge
“Nested in debates in anthropology, philosophy, social theory and global health, the book argues that fear of and fascination with the ‘next pandemic’ stem not so much from an anticipation of a biological extinction of the human species, as from an expectation of the loss of mastery over human/non-human relations.”
Lynteris, Christos & Evans, Nicholas (eds.) (2018). Histories of Post-Mortem Contagion. Infectious Corpses and Contested Burials. Palgrave Macmillan
“This edited volume draws historians and anthropologists together to explore the contested worlds of epidemic corpses and their disposal. Why are burials so frequently at the center of disagreement, recrimination and protest during epidemics? Why are the human corpses produced in the course of infectious disease outbreaks seen as dangerous, not just to the living, but also to the continued existence of society and civilization?”
Mackenzie, Adrian. (2014). ‘Multiplying numbers differently: an epidemiology of contagious convolution.’ Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory 15 (2), pp.189-207.
“This paper reconstructs a symptomatic crisis event, the 2009 A/H1N1 ‘swine flu’ influenza pandemic, from the standpoint of number flow in and around epidemiological models. In their sometimes drastic reshaping of lived space-times, epidemics generate and attract a plethora of numbers relating to human/non-human populations, human/non-human biology, vectors of infection, patterns of urban mobility, media use, clinical practice, and laboratory tests.”
Martin, Emily (1994). Flexible Bodies: Tracking Immunity in American Culture from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS. Boston: Beacon Press
“Emily Martin traces Americans' changing ideas about health and immunity since the 1940s. She explores the implications of our emphasis on "flexibility" in contexts from medicine to the corporate world, warning that we may be approaching a new form of social Darwinism.”
McMillen, Christian W. (2016). Pandemics: a very short introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press
“This book will introduce readers to the rich history of pandemic and epidemic disease and suggest that much of the way we confront such things now has been shaped by the past.”
Mitchell, Peter (2003). ‘The Archaeological Study of Epidemic and Infectious Disease’. World Archaeology 35: 171-179
“The papers in this volume do not consider only the archaeology of epidemics, but include as well discussions of the archaeologically visible consequences of other kinds of infectious disease.”
Mordechai, Lee et al. (2019). ‘The Justinianic Plague: An inconsequential pandemic?’ PNAS 116 (51), pp. 25547-25553
”Existing mortality estimates assert that the Justinianic Plague (circa 541 to 750 CE) caused tens of millions of deaths throughout the Mediterranean world and Europe, helping to end antiquity and start the Middle Ages. In this article, we argue that this paradigm does not fit the evidence.”
Müller-Mahn, Hans-Detlef (ed.) (2013). The Spatial Dimension of Risk: How Geography Shapes the Emergence of Riskscapes. London: Routledge
“Through its exploration of the spatial dimensions of risk, this book offers a brand-new approach to theorizing risk, and significant improvements in how to manage, tolerate and take risks.”
Newson, Linda A. (1998). ‘A Historical-Ecological Perspective on Epidemic Disease.’ In: Advances in Historical Ecology, Balee, William L. (ed.). New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 42-63
Gives an understanding on human-environment interaction in the spread on infectious diseases.
Nilsson Stutz, Liv (2015). ‘A Proper Burial. Some Thoughts on Changes in Mortuary Ritual, and how Archaeology can begin to understand them’. In: Death and Changing Rituals: Function and meaning in ancient funerary practices. J. Rasmus Brandt, Håkon Roland, Marina Prusac (eds.), Oxford: Oxbow Books pp. 1-16.
“What role does ritual play in mortuary practice and the handling of the dead body, and how can we understand ritual change?“
Nilsson Stutz, Liv (2019) ‘Sensing death and experiencing mortuary ritual’. In: The Routledge Handbook of Sensory Archaeology, London: Routledge, pp. 149-163.
“The sensory archaeology of death reconstructs the sensory experiences of death and the dead body but also of the ritual practices that structured the understanding of death. Given that death is a crisis—both on an individual and social level—the ritual response to death can often act to augment or affect sensory experiences.”
November, Valerie & Leanza, Yvan (2015). Risk, Disaster and Crisis Reduction: Mobilizing, Collecting and Sharing Information. Cham: Springer
“In the field of risks and crises, both the access to relevant information and its circulation are seen as crucial factors. Based on a new integrated theoretical model focusing on the stakeholder, the book proposes analysis of information reformulation and circulation in risk environments and crisis situations.”
Oultram, Stuart (2013). ‘Virtual plagues and real-world pandemics: reflecting on the potential for online computer role-playing games to inform real world epidemic research’. Medical Humanities 39, pp. 115-118.
“In the wake of the Corrupted Blood incident, which afflicted the massively multiplayer online computer role-playing game World of Warcraft in 2005, it has been suggested that both, the incident itself and massively multiplayer online computer role-playing games in general, can be utilised to inform and assist real-world epidemic and public health research. In this paper, I engage critically with these claims.”
Outka, Elizabeth (2020). Viral Modernism: The Influenza Pandemic and Interwar Literature. New York: Columbia University Press
“Viral Modernism examines how literature and culture represented the virus's deathly fecundity, as writers wrestled with the scope of mass death in the domestic sphere amid fears of wider social collapse. […] She uncovers links to the disease in popular culture, from early zombie resurrection to the resurgence of spiritualism.”
‘Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases: the Sociological Agenda’ (2013) Sociology of Health and Illness, Special Issue, Vol. 35, No. 2
“Infectious disease has re-emerged as a public health threat in an increasingly globalised era, adding trans-national actors to traditional national and local government actors. This special issue showcases new sociological work in response to this challenge.”
Paterson, Cathy. & Tyshenko, Michael G. (2010). SARS Unmasked: Risk Communication of Pandemics and Influenza in Canada. McGill-Queen's University Press
“Will SARS or another pandemic influenza reoccur and, if it does, have we learned how to manage pandemics more effectively? [..] Risk communication expert Michael Tyshenko offers answers to this and other questions. Cathy Peterson, who worked as a nurse clinician during the Toronto SARS crisis, adds an important view from the frontlines.”
Peckham, Robert (2013). ‘Economies of contagion: financial crisis and pandemic’. Economy and Society, 42 (2), pp. 226-248
“The outbreak of an influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in 2009 coincided with a severe global financial downturn (2007–8). This paper examines the use of ‘contagion’ as a model for assessing the dynamics of both episodes: the spread of infection and the diffusion of shock through an intrafinancial system.”
Peckham, Robert & Pomfret, David M. (2013). Imperial Contagions: Medicine, Hygiene, and Cultures of Planning in Asia. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press
“Imperial Contagions argues that there was no straightforward shift from older, enclavist models of colonial medicine to a newer emphasis on prevention and treatment of disease among indigenous populations as well as European residents. It shows that colonial medicine was not at all homogeneous "on the ground" but was riven with tensions and contradictions.”
Peters, Michael A., Jandrić, Petar & McLaren, Peter (2020). ’Viral modernity? Epidemics, infodemics, and the ‘bioinformational’ paradigm’. Educational Philosophy and Theory.
“We discuss Covid-19 as a ‘bioinformationalist’ response that represents historically unprecedented level of sharing information from the sequencing of the genome to testing for a vaccination. Finally, we look at the US response to Covid-19 through the lens of infodemics and post-truth”
Raoult, Didier & Drancourt, Michel (eds.) (2008). Paleomicrobiology: Past Human Infections. Berlin: Springer
“Firm microbiological diagnoses […] provide historians and anthropologists with new data on which to base evaluation of past epidemics.”
Rhodes, John (2013). The End of Plagues: The Global BattleAagainst Infectious Diseases. New York City: Palgrave Macmillan
“Unlike the story of bacteria and the discovery of penicillin, there has been no big eureka moment with viruses. It has been a 250-year journey of trial and error, powerful personalities, great scientific discoveries, and many deaths.”
Ryan, Jeffrey R. (ed.) (2008). Pandemic Influenza: Emergency Planning and Community Preparedness. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis
“The swine flu emergency needn‘t become a crisis. This critically acclaimed work provides public health officials, doctors, responders, and emergency planners with accurate current information that will help them understand the nature of an outbreak, assess risk, answer public concerns, and develop informed strategies.”
Rönnerstrand, Björn (2015). Generalized trust and the collective action dilemma of immunization. Diss. Gothenburg: Gothenburg University
“The questions investigated in this dissertation are (1) does generalized trust increase pandemic immunization acceptance, and if so, 2) what causal pathways and mechanisms link generalized trust with pandemic immunization acceptance.”
Scherr, Courtney L, Jensen, Jakob D & Christy, Katheryn (2017). ‘Dispositional pandemic worry and the health belief model: promoting vaccination during pandemic events’. Journal of Public Health, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. e242–e250
“Promoting vaccination during pandemics is paramount to public health, yet few studies examined theoretical motivations for vaccination during pandemics. Thus, the relationships between dispositional pandemic worry, constructs of the health belief model (HBM) and vaccination during the H1N1 pandemic were studied.”
Schreiber, Werner & Mathys, Friedrich Karl (1987). Infectio: Infectious Diseases in the History of Medicine. Basle: Roche
A cultural history of infectious disease with plenty of art historical images and references.
Sellwood, Chloe & Wapling, Andy (ed.) (2016). Health Emergency Preparedness and Response. Wallingford: CABI
“This text covers the breadth of health emergency preparedness, resilience and response topics in the context of inter-disciplinary and whole society responses to a range of threats. It includes public, private and third sector roles in preparation for and in response to natural and man-made events, such as: major incident planning; infectious disease epidemics and pandemics; natural disasters; terrorist threats; and business and service continuity management.
Sherman, Irwin W. (2006). The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington
This comprehensive overview covers epidemic diseases in their historical context. Major historic outbreaks from the Justinian plague until today are discussed. Many illustrations.
Skidmore, Max J. (2016). Presidents, Pandemics, and Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US
“This book is an examination of the manner in which American presidents respond to pandemics and other public health crises. Skidmore argues that presidential performance in dealing with emergencies and pandemics varies, but those who are informed, focused, and confident that government can work are most likely to be successful.”
Sloane, Barney (2011). The Black Death in London. Stroud: History
“The traditional story of the timing and arrival of the plague is challenged and the mortality rate is revised up to 50-60% in the first outbreak, with a population decline of 40-45% across Edward III's reign. Overall, The Black Death in London provides as detailed a story as it is possible to tell of the impact of the plague on a major medieval English city.”
Snowden, Frank M. (2019). Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present. New Haven: Yale University Press.
”A final important theme of Epidemics and Society is that epidemic diseases are not random events that afflict societies capriciously and without warning. On the contrary, every society produces its own specific vulnerabilities. To study them is to understand that society’s structure, its standard of living, and its political priorities. Epidemic diseases, in that sense, have always been signifiers, and the challenge of medical history is to decipher the meanings embedded in them.”
Solnit, Rebecca. (2009). A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster. New York, N.Y.: Viking Penguin
“A Paradise Built in Hell is an investigation of the moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid disaster’s grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life. It points to a new vision of what society could become-one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local.”
Spikins, Penny, Needham, Andrew, Tilley, Lorna & Hitchens, Gail (2018). ‘Calculated or caring? Neanderthal healthcare in social context.’ World Archaeology, pp. 384-403.
Who do we care for and why? On the concept of care in prehistory, with regards to the weak and dying in Neanderthal society.
Strekalova, Yulia A. (2017). ‘Health Risk Information Engagement and Amplification on Social Media: News About an Emerging Pandemic on Facebook’. Health Education & Behavior, 44(2), pp. 332–339
“Grounded in the social amplification of risks framework, this study adds to an understanding of information behaviours of online audiences by showing empirical differences in audience engagement with online health information. The data were collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Facebook channel.”
Taylor, Steven (2019). The Psychology of Pandemics. Preparing for the Next Global Outbreak of Infectious Disease. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
“[Psychological factors] play a role in nonadherence to vaccination and hygiene programs, and play an important role in how people cope with the threat of infection and associated losses. Psychological factors are important for understanding and managing societal problems associated with pandemics, such as the spreading of excessive fear, stigmatization, and xenophobia that occur when people are threatened with infection.”
‘The Other’s Imagined Diseases. Transcultural Representations of Health’. Transtext(e)s transcultures. Journal of Global Cultural Studies. Vol. 12 (2017).
Representations of disease, health, race and identity in cinema studies. “The essays in this volume relate the links of Western thought (and its structure of feelings) to notions of alterity and diversity, particularly, though not only, in matters of illness and medical systems.”
Thompson, Alison K. et al. (2015). ‘“With Human Health It’s a Global Thing”: Canadian Perspectives on Ethics in the Global Governance of an Influenza Pandemic’. Bioethical Inquiry 12, pp. 115–127
“We live in an era where our health is linked to that of others across the globe, and nothing brings this home better than the specter of a pandemic. This paper explores the findings of town hall meetings associated with the Canadian Program of Research on Ethics in a Pandemic (CanPREP), in which focus groups met to discuss issues related to the global governance of an influenza pandemic.”
Ursano, Robert J., Fullerton, Carol S., Weisæth, Lars & Raphael, Beverley (eds.) (2007). Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
“It brings together the views of international experts to provide a comprehensive review of the psychological, biological, and social responses to disaster, describing evidence-based clinical and service-led interventions to meet mental health needs and foster resilience and recovery.”
Vilhelmsson, Andreas (2011). Från pest och kolera till nutida pandemihot: med en introduktion till folkhälsovetenskap. Lund: Studentlitteratur
“Vad är ett folkhälsoproblem och vilka olika folkhälsoproblem har präglat mänsklighetens historia? Hur har Hippokrates läror påverkat dagens syn på folkhälsoarbete, och var i historien uppträder karantän som en folkhälsoåtgärd för första gången?”
Vincent, David (2020). A History of Solitude. Polity Press.
“Drawing on a wide array of literary and historical sources, David Vincent explores how people have conducted themselves in the absence of company over the last three centuries. He argues that the ambivalent nature of solitude became a prominent concern in the modern era.”
Waltner-Toews, David (2013). The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology, and a Sustainable Society. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: ECW Press
“From primordial ooze, dung beetles, bug frass, cat scats, and flush toilets to global trade, pandemics, and energy, this is the awesome, troubled, uncensored story of feces.”
Welford, Mark (2018). Geographies of Plague Pandemics - the Spatial-Temporal Behavior of Plague to the Modern Day. New York: Routledge
“The book demonstrates how recent colonial structures influenced the spread and mortality of plague while changing colonial histories. In addition, this book provides critical insight into how plague has shaped modern medicine, public health, and disease monitoring, and what role, if any, it might play as a terror weapon.”
Westum, Asbjörg (2012). ’Händelsens konturer eller varför alla dessa upprepningar i Almas berättelse om spanska sjukan?’ In: Språkets gränser - och verklighetens: perspektiv på begreppet gräns, Andersson, Daniel & Edlund, Lars-Erik (eds.), Umeå: Institutionen för språkstudier, pp. 33-50
”Materialet för denna studie utgörs av en enskild berättelse om den influensapandemi som kom att bli känd under beteckningen spanska sjukan Berättaren, som här kallas Alma (f. 1901), bodde hela sitt liv i Norsjö socken i norra Västerbotten. […] Undersökningens syfte är att analysera upprepningens funktioner i Almas berättelse.”
Wuthnow, Robert (2010). Be Very Afraid: The Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats. New York: Oxford University Press
“Freud, the author notes, famously taught that the standard psychological response to an overwhelming danger is denial. In fact, the author writes, the opposite is true: we seek ways of positively meeting the threat, of doing something — anything — even if it is wasteful and time-consuming.”
Yamagata, Yoshiki. & Maruyama, Hiroshi. (eds.) (2016). Urban Resilience: A Transformative Approach. Cham: Springer International Publishing
“This book is on urban resilience – how to design and operate cities that can withstand major threats such as natural disasters and economic downturns and how to recover from them.”
Links to other resources:
Infectious Historians – a podcast focusing on examining all sorts of historical epidemics from a historical (and critical) perspective: https://infectioushistorians.com/
Naval History and Heritage Command (U.S.A): Influenza (Spanish Flu) Pandemic of 1918-1920 in Historical Context: A Select Bibliography
Somatosphere. Science, Medicine and Anthropology: COVID-19 Forum
The Politics of COVID-19: Coronavirus Readings