What We’re Reading This Week

The 1918–1919 “Spanish flu” pandemic resulted in dramatic mortality worldwide. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Kristie Flannery

Timothy Brook, “Blame China? Outbreak orientalism, from the plague to coronavirus”, The Globe and Mail

Why has China been blamed as the wellspring of global pandemics? Is it just an orientalist bad habit, a holdover from a time when we feared what was farthest away, and farthest away was China? Timothy Brook puts global responses to coronavirus in historical context in this Globe & Mail piece. 

Isaac Chotiner, “How Pandemics Change History”, The New Yorker

The New Yorker interviews Frank M. Snowden, professor emeritus of history and the history of medicine at Yale, on how disease outbreaks have shaped politics, crushed revolutions, and entrenched racial and economic discrimination. 

Sam de Schutter

Emma Kluge, “How the world failed West Papua in its campaign for independence”, The Conversation

Emma Kluge traces the history of the West Papuan demand for independence, analyzing the international political dynamics which led to their failure in the 1960s “to ride the waves of decolonisation efforts by Asian and African countries.”

Neve Gordon, “How Human Rights Were Defanged from Any Truly Emancipatory Potential”, Los Angeles Review of Books

Neve Gordon discusses the recent book by Jessica Whyte in which she traces the parallel histories of neoliberalism and human rights, and highlights the historical commonalities of both projects.

Interview: Malcolm X and the Sudanese, Sapelo Square

Interview with Hisham Aidi, who made a documentary about Sudanese development economist Ahmed Osman and his connection to Malcom X, delving into the broader history of Malcom X’s Sudanese connections.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *