Public Health in France:
From the Colonies to Covid
Thursday, October 22, 2020
10:00 - 11:30 am
Virtual Event - Click Here for Webex Session
This event examines the long and complex history of medical experimentation and testing in Africa during the French colonial era with two leading historians of French colonial public health policy. They will explore the social and scientific history of French vaccine research and testing in Africa and its implications for current vaccine developments. Each speaker will give brief introductory remarks followed by a conversation with moderator Kathryn Kleppinger, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies and International Affairs, and author of Branding the Beur Author: Minority Writing and the Media in France, 1983-2013. There will also be time for discussion with participants.
Libérté or Communauté? Public Health in France and Francophone Africa from Empire to Covid
Jessica Pearson is Assistant Professor of European History at Macalester College. Her research explores the history of European decolonization from a global vantage point. In her first book, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa, Dr. Pearson uses global public health as a lens to explore the clash between internationalism and imperialism in French Africa in the 1940s and 1950s. Currently, Professor Pearson is working on a new book project, entitled “Traveling to the End of Empire: Leisure Tourism in the Era of Decolonization,” which will be a global exploration of tourism and European decolonization in the second half of the twentieth century. She has conducted archival research in Aix-en-Provence, Dakar, London, Nantes, New York, Paris, and Washington D.C. 
Infrastructure and Vaccine Politics: Lessons from Yellow Fever Campaigns in West Africa
Aro Velmet is a historian of modern Europe, with a particular interest in the intersection of technological change and forms of governance, claims about humanitarian development, and global modeling. Dr. Velmet's first book, Pasteur’s Empire: Bacteriology and Politics in France, its Colonies and the World looks at how bacteriological research in the early twentieth century came to represent France’s civilizing mission in its colonies and shaped politics in the French empire in fields ranging from labor rights to industrial policy. Dr. Velmet is currently working on the history of cybernetics, data processing, and global development from an Eastern European perspective. Dr. Velmet also maintains an interest in public outreach. He is an editor of the Estonian cultural monthly Vikerkaar, a member of the Eurozine network of European cultural journals. In 2019-2020 he was a fellow at the DemocraCE project at the Res Publica Foundation in Poland.
This event is part of the "Europe Since Covid-19" University Seminar series.

In Case You Missed It!

Click below to watch our
first event in the series:

This event is on the record and open to the media.
The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES)
Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW / Suite 412 / Washington, DC 20052
Tel (202) 994-6340 / Fax (202) 994-5436 / Email ieresgwu@gwu.edu