CfP: 'Epidemics and their determinants: Past and present' / Barcelona

COVID-19 has shown that epidemics are not solely relics of the past, nor are they exclusive to lowincome countries. Consequently, there has been a surge of academic interest in studying contemporary and historical epidemics. Despite efforts to reference and employ historical epidemic management measures such as cordons sanitaires or quarantines, historical epidemics have rarely been used as a testing ground to advance our understanding of present and future outbreaks or as a foundation for future preparedness. 

This workshop aims to create a platform for interdisciplinary debate bridging the gap between past and present epidemics. It aims to bring together historians, demographers, epidemiologists, geographers, and related disciplines that deal with the study of infectious diseases. The workshop will focus on epidemics and their dynamics, both past and present. Possible topics to be addressed are:
  • Socioeconomic and environmental determinants in the spread of epidemics. 
  • Role of non-pharmaceutical interventions on health and economic outcomes.
  • Long term consequences for socioeconomic status, health and well-being.
  • Marginalized groups as risk factors.
  • New and old theoretical approaches to epidemics.
  • Methodological contributions will be welcomed. 

Please submit your abstract (300 – 500 words) to by December 1, 2023. Accepted proposals will be notified by December 15, 2023. 

The workshop will be held at the Open University of Catalonia - Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona) within the framework of the research project 'Preventing epidemics of the past to cure those of the present: Exploring Natural Language Processing and Bayesian statistics for building predictive models of epidemic expansion (EPI-PREDICT)', funded by the BBVA foundation, the HiDo - Scientific Network for Historical Demography and the Asociación de Demografía Histórica (ADEH - Spanish and Portuguese Society for Historical Demography). There will be no registration fee. Coffee and lunch will be offered daily. Moreover, accommodation will be covered at a reasonable rate. 

Scientific Committee Isabelle Devos, History Department, Ghent University, Belgium. Svenn-Erik Mamelund, Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society (PANSOC), at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. Joana Maria Pujadas – Mora, Arts and Humanities Department, Open University of Catalonia & Center for Demographic Studies, Spain.