History Seminar: Nükhet Varlık (Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, Newark)
Title: Rethinking Pandemic Narratives: Death and Disease in Ottoman and World History
Date and Time: December 15, 2021 and 15:40-17:00
Place: FASS G022
Abstract: We are currently experiencing one of the most disruptive pandemics in modern history. As we made into this new age of pandemics, it is critical to rethink how we write the history of pandemics. With a conviction that the past helps us to understand the present and the present should help us to rethink the past, I turn to the legacy of past plagues. In this presentation, I will take stock of the lasting legacies of past plagues because they continue to shape the way we think about new pandemics. With a focus on the Ottoman experience of plague, while maintaining a global perspective, I will address persistent problems, such as European exceptionalism, triumphalism, and epidemiological orientalism that are not only ubiquitous in plague studies, but also staples of public opinion about pandemics, past and present.