Influenza (1918) and Plague (1348): Episodes in World History

This joint presentation by Patrick Manning (Andrew W. Mellon Professor of World History, University of Pittsburgh) and Siddharth Chandra (Professor of Economics, Michigan State University) will show how plague in the fourteenth century and influenza in the early twentieth century seriously shook up global population and society, with attention to the new research methods than have enabled scholars to understand more about these pandemics themselves and their implications for human society.

This is the second event in a year-long seminar that will invite colleagues from the humanities and social sciences (and cognate professional schools) to jointly explore questions that highlight the urgency of thinking globally about the humanities and humanistically about globalization. What can the study of human geography contribute to our ability to comprehend the origins and movement of artistic and literary creations? What parallels exist between the fraught identity politics of systematic wartime rape as a tool of genocide by procreation and the modes of cultural production employed by colonizing powers in erasing or overwriting the artistic and cultural achievements of colonized societies? Why do economic and political assessments of globalization vary so dramatically from those generated by critics within disciplines like literature and film studies?

This event is also sponsored by the Global Studies Center and the Humanities Center. For more information, contact Michael Goodhart at


Monday, December 7, 2015 - 5:30pm

Location and Address

Humanities Center, 602 Cathedral of Learning