Panel: Ebola and HIV in Africa: Critical Reflections on Genres, Structures, Technologies and Economics of Health Care

A session at Third Zuckerman Conference at the Mellon Biennial

Thursday 9th April, 2015

11:00am to 1:00pm (EST)

This panel provides an opportunity for multi-disciplinary reflection on the on-going Ebola crisis in western Africa. Drawing on public health, medicine, literature, history and African Studies, panelists link the current Ebola crisis in western Africa to historical precedents of unequal access to medical technologies and to continuities in deploying outbreak narratives to articulate and shape responses to epidemic disease. They also point out the question of whether successful medical treatment for epidemic diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, is problematic for economic growth in countries dealing with that persistent crisis in many African nations. These papers make clear discursive, cultural, scientific, policy-related patterns that the Ebola crisis both continues and disrupts. They explore how stories of medical research and provision in Africa provide poignant lessons for understanding the Ebola epidemic and the inadequacy of technical, “magic-bullet” solutions that fail to address healthcare access and the import of infrastructure and expertise. And they show that the 2000’s economic “growth miracle” in sub-Saharan Africa may be due, in part, to a positive relationship between health and such growth, therein holding a lesson for other, especially developing, countries.

Alvan Azinna Ikoku, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Medicine/Stanford University
Ebola, Outbreak Narratives and the Deliverance of Others

Jennifer Tappan, Assistant Professor of History/Portland State University
But Will it Protect?: Ebola, Vaccines and the History of Yellow Fever in Africa

Mari Webel, Assistant Professor of History/University of Pittsburgh
Global Health and the “White Man’s Grave”: Narrating West Africa Amid Ebola

Anna Tompsett, Assistant Professor of Economics/Stockholm University
The Lazarus Drug: Macro-economic Impact of the Expansion of Anti-Retroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS

Radhika Gore, Mailman School of Public Health & Mellon Fellow, Columbia University

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Time 11:00am1:00pm EST

Date Thu 9th April 2015

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