The year 2018 marks the centennial of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, one of the deadliest outbreaks of disease in recorded history. To acknowledge the social impact of illness on humanity, the History Department at Seton Hall University will host a two-day symposium on disease and wellness in historical perspective. Some of the questions we seek to investigate over the course of this symposium are as follows: How have notions of illness and wellness changed over time? In what ways have medical progress and discovery been shaped by wars and natural disasters? How did regimes of hygiene fashion social hierarchies or imperial policy? What have been the social, political, and economic consequences of the diseased body and/or mind in various societies? How do civilizations conceptualize disease and miracles within faith practices? How do public health and issues of social justice intersect?
Some additional topics for research papers include the following:
- Medicine, war, and natural disasters
- Medical progress, discovery, and vaccines
- Colonial diseases and medicines
- Traditional practices and practitioners
- Professionalization of medicine
- Cultural representations of health care
- Saints, shamans, and spiritual dimensions of health
- Gender dynamics of health
- Disease and persecution
- Drugs and addiction
- Trauma and mental health
The symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, 7-8 February. A keynote address by Alan Kraut, Professor of History at the American University, will open the symposium on Thursday, 7 February. The second day of the symposium will consist of panels and a roundtable discussion. The symposium will be held at the South Orange, New Jersey campus of Seton Hall University, about a half hour outside of New York City.
We welcome proposals from scholars from all fields interested in the historical implications of disease and wellness including history, literary studies, anthropology, and religion, from the ancient to modern period. Advanced graduate students, early career scholars, and senior researchers are encouraged to apply. Please send a single document containing 1) a title and an abstract of up to 250 words and 2) a short (one-paragraph) biography, to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, 19 November, 2018.
Seton Hall will provide two-nights of accommodations for all invited participants coming from outside the New York City/Northern New Jersey area, as well as meals for all invited panelists. Travel funding may also be available on a case-by-case basis.
Please feel free to contact Anne Giblin Gedacht at email@example.com, or Golbarg Rekabtalaei at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions. For more information about History at Seton Hall, please visit our website, https://www.shu.edu/history/.