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Cultural Histories of the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918 – 1919: Representations and Memories

Attacking in three waves, from the spring of 1918 into early 1919, in a short time span of just several months, the so-called ‘Spanish Influenza’ pandemic wrecked unparalleled havoc. Nevertheless, until relatively recently the study of this massive global

19 February 2019


Guy Beiner / Steffen Bruendel:

Welcome Address and Introduction

09.00 – 10.30

Conference session 1: Private and Public Forgetting/Remembering


Guy Beiner, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva: “The Great Flu between Social Forgetting and Regenerated Memory”


Howard Phillips, University of Cape Town: “The Flu Pandemic in Memory: Re Collections of the Spanish Flu”


Ida Milne, St. Patrick’s Carlow College, Carlow: “Using Oral History to Explore Transition in the Irish Remembering and Forgetting of the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic”

10.30 – 11.00

Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30

Conference session 2: Mapping Memories


David Killingray, University of London: “Pandemic Death, Response and Memory in Non-European societies”


Łukasz Mieszkowski, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw: “Virus and Lice: The 1918 -1920 Polish Episode of the Spanish Flu Pandemic and its Rivalry with Typhus Epidemics”


Nancy Bristow, University of Puget Sound, North Tacoma, Washington: “Public War / Private Losses: Memory and Martial Metaphor in the United States”

12.30 – 14.00

Lunch Break

14.00 – 15.30

Conference session 3: Archives and Memory


Liane Maria Bertucci and Lineti Firmo Rodrigues, State University of Paraná, Curitiba: “Spanish flu in the Memories of the Old and the Words of the Young (Brazil, mid-twentieth to twenty-first century)”


Cynthia Gabbay, Freie Universität Berlin: ”Latin American Representations of the Spanish Flu: Traces in the Archive of a Great Oblivion”


Hannah Rhian Mawdsley, Queen Mary University of London: “Richard Hughesdon Collier – Remembering the ‘Forgotten’ Pandemic”

15.30 – 16.00

Coffee Break

16.00 –17.30

Workshop session I: Publishing Popular History


20 February 2019

9.00 – 10.00

Conference session 4: Scientific Narratives


Mark Honigsbaum, City University, London: “Pandemic Dialogues: The ‘Spanish Flu’ and the Interplay of Science and History”


María-Isabel Porras, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real: “Risk Perception and Reactions to Influenza Pandemics and its Vaccines in Spain (1918-2009)”

10.00 – 10.30

Coffee Break

10.30 – 12.00

Workshop session II:            Retrospective on Previous Anniversaries

12.00 – 13.30

Lunch Break

13.30 – 15.00

Conference session 5: Representations in Art


Steffen Bruendel, Goethe University Frankfurt: “Between the Great War and the Great Flu. How Europe’s Avant-garde Coped with the Influenza Pandemic of 1918/19”


Laura Spinney, science journalist and writer, Paris: “Did Artists Ignore the Spanish Flu, and If So Why? A Hypothesis”


Utz Thimm, Writer and Journalist, Frankfurt: "The Cultural Commemoration of the Great Flu in Belgium and the Netherlands“ (Working Title)

15.00 – 15.30

Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.30

Conference session 6: Representations in Media


Kate Barker, York University, Toronto: “Killer Advertising — how Canadians were sold the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic”


Ryan Davis, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois: “Spanish Flu Then and Now, a View from Spain”

16:30 – 17.00

Coffee Break

17.00 – 18.30

Workshop session III: Teaching the Pandemic’s Legacy


21 February 2019

9.00 – 10.30

Workshop session IV: Taking Stock of the Centenary

10.30 – 11.00

Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30

Final Discussion: Developing Cultural Histories of the Great Flu

Dienstag, 19.02.2019
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