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Professor Erica Charters

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Duration: 0:52:06 | Added: 29 Jul 2022
Georgina Ferry interviews Erica Charters, Professor of the Global History of Medicine, 6 December 2021.

Topics discussed include (00:00:30) EC's early studies in the history of disease, doctorate at Oxford on the history of medicine (under Professor Mark Harrison, with particular interest in disease during the Seven Years' War), lecture post at Oxford from 2009; (00:01:40) interest in disease and the human experience; (00:02:47) long-term perspectives on disease and historical perspectives including social, cultural, political; (00:05:15) historic pandemics and Charles Rosenberg article “What is an Epidemic?” written during the AIDS epidemic; (00:07:50) tools used to explore the narrative of an epidemic; (00:10:12) first memory of COVID-19 in early 2020; (00:11:42) EC's research work and collaboration with other historians on COVID-19 and the relevance of history in understanding the pandemic; (00:14:23) Centaurus journal contributions [published by the European Society for the History of Science], work of Margaret Pelling (particularly relating to cholera in the 19th century) and work of anthropologists in East Africa [Wenzel, Geissler and Prince]; (00:16:05) COVID-19 specific research, online workshops 'How Epidemics End' (in collaboration with Kristin Heitman); (00:19:01) examples of epidemics ending (including Historian Sam Cohn's perspective, mathematical modelling, anthropologist perspectives); (00:23:10) concepts of excess deaths in disease and warfare; (00:27:20) grant applications for projects; (00:29:00) colleagues involved in policy work in terms of social responses to disease and public health restrictions; (00:31:15) working with health and medical practitioners and interdisciplinary research; (00:32:49) EC's personal experience of COVID-19 and the impact on the academic and research community; (00:34:31) impact on the well-being of students and colleagues, including remote teaching; (00:36:30) positives of online working, including broadening audiences internationally, online reading groups; (00:38:00) competing theories and frameworks in medical science; (00:39:41) EC's personal reaction to the threat from COVID-19; (00:41:40) working long hours and returning to the office; (00:43:32) maintaining productiveness and wellbeing through taking on the project; (00:44:57) how future historians might frame the global response to COVID-19; (00:47:55) future research interests owing to the pandemic, including how these events are measured; (00:50:30) changes in approach to work as a result of COVID-19.

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