Lecture given by Pr Esyllt Jones
Included in the closing Ceremony
Long considered the ‘forgotten’ pandemic of the 20th century, the 1918-1919 influenza outbreak has enjoyed several recent decades of attention from historians. This presentation will focus on major themes in the social history of the 1918-1919 pandemic, including the impact of war and social inequality on the experience of sufferers and their families; the disease’s toll on indigenous and colonized peoples; and the challenges influenza posed to dominant thinking in early 20th century public health. The paper also reconsiders influenza’s ‘forgotten’ past, arguing that private remembrance of influenza persisted despite the neglect of public memory of the disease at the national level, and within public health and medicine itself.