Mediathek Event
Mar 23, 2021
Environments and Ecologies of Transmission

Panel Talks

Planetary Health: How to Unleash a Just and Resilient Post-Pandemic World

Nicole de Paula

Planetary Health, both as a scientific field and a social movement, is rapidly growing. While a proliferation of research projects and initiatives are dynamically evolving, it remains to be further explored how the planetary health can become an empowering narrative for policymakers and business leaders. Covid-19, which has devastated economies and impoverished millions, needs to be viewed as a turning point. This lecture is based on Dr Nicole de Paula's current book project that presents the science behind planetary health and dwells on the opportunities to expand this field into actionable recommendations for decision-makers. Thinking forward, this work presents an innovative way to build long-term social and ecological resilience and presents an empowering new roadmap for a safer and more just post-Covid world.

The Great Plague Panzootic: The Third Plague Pandemic Reconsidered

Christos Lynteris

The third plague pandemic (1894–1959) was the first pandemic of Yersinia pestis to be understood through framings of rodents as the principal hosts of the disease, and rats as the global spreaders of the pathogen. This lecture urges us to move beyond anthropocentric framings of the pandemic so as to see it as a panzootic: a global outbreak of plague that interlinked diverse rodent species and populations across the globe. The lecture will argue that this was fostered, on the one hand, through an unprecedented global circulation of the plague pathogen, and on the other hand, through the circulation and implementation of anti-rodent measures carried out by humans that exposed rats and other rodents to techniques and technologies of eradication and separation on an unprecedented scale.

Plague Ecologies in the Ottoman Empire: Rethinking the Second Pandemic (ca.1340s–ca.1940s)

Nükhet Varlık

The majority of studies on the Black Death and its recurring plagues—collectively referred to as the Second Pandemic—follow a human-centric model for explaining the emergence, spread, and disappearance of the pandemic, mainly informed by the European experience. Drawing on research on plague in the Ottoman Empire, this talk will introduce new possibilities of thinking about the pandemic by emphasizing the importance of climate, animals, and disease ecologies of the wider Mediterranean world, with a view to bringing latest scientific studies in conversation with historical sources. As the longest continuous manifestation of plague in recorded human history, the Ottoman experience of plague (from ca.1340s to ca.1940s—600 years of uninterrupted plagues) allows us to question, re-conceptualize, and unsettle current historical and scientific wisdom about past plagues.


Panelist Biographies

About the Institute's Colloquium Series 2020/21

Institute's Colloquium: Environments and Ecologies of Transmission