Day 2: Multidisciplinary Workshop - Endemicity: The Contours of Epidemics

Current efforts to ‘live with covid’ highlight the concept of endemicity: the transition from epidemic to endemic. But what does it mean for a disease to be endemic, and how is this defined, measured, and established? Although the category of ‘endemic’ is widely understood and powerfully applied, its meaning is shaped by context rather than by strict numbers. ‘Endemic’ can mean widespread, periodic, expected, unnoticed, normal – that is, the opposite of ‘epidemic’. How does the long-term, context of endemicity frame the immediate urgency of epidemics? How does the category of endemicity vary by region and culture? And how do other diseases, political priorities, economic pressures, and social tensions shape the parameters of endemicity (what an endemic disease is), and thus also shape the end contours of an epidemic?

This multidisciplinary workshop draws on a range of disciplinary and methodological insights to analyse the notion of endemic disease as well as the process of an epidemic’s end. As this stage of the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the social, political, and economic nature of epidemics, long-term and multidisciplinary views of disease and health are crucial. This workshop therefore encourages examples, case studies, and reasoning drawn from the humanities and social sciences, but welcomes all disciplinary analyses of the concept of endemic disease as well as the contours (ends and beginnings) of epidemics.

Programme: Friday 30 June

10:30-12:30 Cases II

Thomas G. Andrews (Colorado Boulder) ‘What Happened to the Great North American Horse Flu of 1872-1873?’

Benoit Pouget (Sciences Po Aix) ‘The Fight against Malaria in the French Empire’

Beth Greenhough (Oxford) ‘Catching Colds with Canguilhem: Culturing Relations with Common Cold Viruses’

12:00-12:30 Lunch

13:00-14:50 Transitions

Tony Sandset (Oslo) ‘From Fatal to Chronic and from Epidemic to Endemic: The case of “Ending AIDS“’

Frederick Keck (CNRS) ‘Avian Influenza, between Endemicity and Biosecurity’

14:50-15:20 Tea and Coffee

15:20-17:00 17h00 Concepts and Themes II

Claas Kirchhelle (UCD) ‘Paradise Lost – Rethinking AMR from the Perspective of Permanent Endemicity’

Renaud Piarroux (Sorbonne) ‘From Spanish Flu to Gain-of Function Research: Risks of a New Pandemic’