Universiteit Leiden

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Stephen Ellis Annual Lecture by Megan Vaughan: Africa in the time of Coronavirus. Biology, history and politics

Thursday 1 December 2022
Pieter de la Courtgebouw
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

This event will be held physically in Leiden. For registrees who cannot travel to Leiden a link to an online platform will be sent one day before the start of the event.

The 2022 Stephen Ellis Annual Lecture will be given by Megan Vaughan, Professor of African History and Health at University College London.

There is no single account to be told about the course and impact of COVID-19 in Africa, but multiple stories, as yet unfinished. In some ways the pandemic turned a familiar story on its head. The disease and disaster framing that has so often been applied to the African continent now appeared more suited to the populations of Europe and North America, while many African countries apparently not only suffered less illness and death but also demonstrated an impressive ability to manage this major public health crisis. In his 2011 book 'Season of Rains', Stephen Ellis astutely analysed the postcolonial history of the continent and warned against the binary of disaster/salvation which external analysts so often fell back on. ‘Africa’ is not a country and COVID-19 is a global phenomenon.

In this lecture Prof. Megan Vaughan (Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London) employs a biosocial and historical approach to explore the differing experiences of different parts of the continent, examining the impact of global actions, inactions and inequalities as well as the role of local political and social actors and the virus itself.

Click here to register for this event.

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