John Eicher (München)

The 1918 "Spanish" Flu Pandemic in Europe: The Rural Response

15.06.2023 16:00 Uhr – 18:00 Uhr

Ort: Historicum K026

Zeit: 16-18 c.t.

The historiography of the 1918 flu typically focuses on scientists, administrators, and urbanites who received most of these authorities’ attention. Flu studies are also mostly framed at the national level, which inhibits translocal and transnational comparisons. My presentation examines these limitations and offers new interpretations of how average, rural, Europeans from across the continent learned of, interpreted, and responded to the pandemic. It argues that most Europeans had little knowledge of the pandemic's cause, endowed it with myriad interpretations about its spread, and deployed a wide range of local measures in response. Europeans' diffuse understanding and interpretation of the flu inhibited blaming others and helped local communities feel empowered, but also led to wide scale social forgetting of the pandemic.

John Eicher ist derzeit Simone Veil Fellow im Projekt Haus Europa.

Vortrag im Rahmen des Oberseminars "Perspektiven der Wissenschaftsgeschichte".