We are delighted to welcome Hampton Gaddy as an incoming researcher with the Center for Research on Pandemics & Society. He completed an MPhil in Sociology and Demography at Nuffield College, Oxford in 2023, and he is currently a PhD candidate in Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He previously graduated from Oxford’s uniquely interdisciplinary BA Human Sciences programme, and he presented his undergraduate dissertation in the Pandemics & Society Seminar series in 2021. The central question of his PhD work is how many people died in the 1918–20 influenza pandemic in the United States. In his progress towards answering that question, he is working to develop better methods for local-area excess mortality estimation in historical contexts and to better understand the sociodemographic correlates of both pandemic influenza mortality and death under-registration in the historical US.
He has a great interest in understanding the societal impacts of social and demographic shocks, both past and present. To that end, he has researched the effects of the 1918 influenza on global fertility trends, as well as some of the mental health impacts of the 1918 influenza pandemic in the United States and the 2016 Brexit referendum in England. While visiting Oslo, he will be working with the rest of the PANSOC team to extend his work on pandemics and baby busts to the 1889 influenza pandemic and to look at the effect of epidemics and other crises on psychiatric hospitals in Norway at the turn of the 20th century.