PANSOC Fall Webinar Series, Thursdays 16:00-17:00 CET

We are pleased to announce the planned schedule for the Fall 2021 PANSOC Webinar Series. For Zoom links to the webinars, please email

19 August: Elizabeth Wrigley-Field (University of Minnesota) & Martin Eiermann (University of Berkeley): “Racial Disparities in Mortality During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in United States Cities.”

2 September – SPECIAL TIME: 17:00-18:00 CET – PANSOC’s MSCA Candidates: 

  • Alexandra Blinkova, Herzen State Pedagogical University (St. Petersburg): “Religious Views on COVID-19 as a Risk Factor in Prevention and Spread of Pandemic: A Case of Russia.”
  • Xanthi Tsoukli, University of Southern Denmark: “The Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on Crime and Poverty: Evidence from Norway.”
  • Ana Vuin, Charles Darwin University: “Regional Health Professional’s Experiences during the COVID-19 Crisis: Is There a Mismatch in Between the Theory and Practice?”

9 September: Ida Milne, Carlow College: “Forgetting and Remembering the Great Flu: Collecting and Shaping Narratives.”

16 September: Mathias Mølbak Ingholt, Roskilde University, Denmark: “Occupational Characteristics and Spatial Differences During an Intermittent Fever Epidemic in Early 19th Century Denmark.”

23 September: Mary Sheehan, University of Melbourne: “Women and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, in 1919.”

30 September: Howard Phillips, University of Cape Town: “The Silence of the Survivors. South Africans and the Memory of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918.”

7 October: Guido Alfani, Bocconi University: “Unravelling the Mysteries of Seventeenth-Century Plagues: The Contribution of Micro-Demographic Approaches.”

14 October: Lianne Tripp, University of Northern British Columbia: “The 1918/19 Influenza: Hidden Heterogeneity in an Island Population.”

21 October: Amir Afkhami, The George Washington University: “From Cholera to COVID19: Continuity and Change in Iran’s Pandemic Experience.”

28 October: Hampton Gaddy, University of Oxford: “Re-estimating the global and national death tolls of the 1918-20 pandemic: Updating Johnson and Mueller (2002).”

11 November: Sharon DeWitte, University of South Carolina: “Social Inequality and Pandemic Mortality: The Biosocial Context of the 14th-Century Black Death.”

18 November: PANSOC’s Master’s Students:

  • Carla Louise Hughes: “The Association between the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Suicide Rates in Norway.”
  • Lara Maria Dora Steinmetz: “How an Optimism Bias Influences the Degree of NPI Uptake during COVID-19 in Norway.”

2 December: Madeleine Mant, University of Toronto Mississauga: “Going Viral: COVID-19 and Risk in Young Adult Health Behaviour Models.”

9 December: Tamara Giles-Vernick, Institut Pasteur: “Complex local vulnerabilities and the COVID-19 pandemic in France.”

16 December: John Eicher, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies and Pennsylvania State University – Altoona: “A Digital History Approach to Analyzing Memories of the 1918 Flu Pandemic.”

7th PANSOC webinar 29 April 16:00-17:00 (CET)

Taylor Paskoff, University of Missouri, USA, presents on “Determinants of post-1918 influenza pandemic tuberculosis mortality in Newfoundland”.

Send e-mail to to get the zoom-link.

Blurb: In some places around the world, the severe impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic is considered to be the turning point for tuberculosis mortality, in that the former declined significantly after the pandemic due to possible selective effects. I investigate tuberculosis mortality trends on the island of Newfoundland for the first four decades of the 20th century (1900-1939) to identify where, or if, a significant decline in tuberculosis mortality occurred that could have been associated with the 1918 influenza pandemic. These mortality patterns are discussed in terms of the historical context of the island, including cultural and behavioral determinants that may have overshadowed any pathogenic selective effects.

6th PANSOC webinar 22 April 1600-1700 (CET)

Professor Lisa Sattenspiel, University of Missouri, USA, will present on “Comparing COVID and the 1918 flu in rural vs. urban counties of Missouri”.

If you wish to attend this Zoom-webinar, please send us an e-mail at:

Blurb: Socioeconomic and demographic factors within communities strongly influence infectious disease patterns. I describe here how such factors affected the spread of the 1918 influenza and current COVID-19 pandemics in the state of Missouri, emphasizing the identification of attributes that may have differentially affected rural vs. urban populations. Results suggest that epidemic patterns were affected at both time periods by a combination of factors such as degree of rurality, distance from the major urban centers of Kansas City and St. Louis, availability of medical resources, and level of ethnic diversity.

Video of Rick J. Mourits’s webinar is now available.

Please find the talk given by Rick J. Mourits, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on: “Occupational characteristics and spatial inequalities in mortality during 1918-9 influenza pandemic in the Netherlands” here:

Other authors: Auke Rijpma, Ruben Schalk, Ingrid K. van Dijk, Richard L. Zijdeman

5th PANSOC webinar 15th of April 16:00-17:00 (CET).

Rick J. Mourits, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, presents on: “Occupational characteristics and spatial inequalities in mortality during 1918-9 influenza pandemic in the Netherlands”

Other authors: Auke Rijpma, Ruben Schalk, Ingrid K. van Dijk, Richard L. Zijdeman

Send e-mail to to get the Zoom-link

Blurb: More than a century ago, the 1918-9 influenza pandemic swept across the globe and took the lives of over 50 million people. When the pandemic finally subsided in 1919, the “Spanish” influenza pandemic had taken over 50 million lives worldwide. A century later it is still not fully understood how socioeconomic differences affected the mortality risk. Multiple studies have found no straightforward relation between socioeconomic status and mortality rates during the 1918-9 pandemic. We argue that this is no surprise, as the mechanisms affecting the health gradient by socioeconomic status observed today were generally not helpful in the 1918-9 influenza pandemic. Social status gives individuals the opportunity to more optimally avoid getting ill, resist infections, and be cured diseases (Johansson, 2000). However, two of these three resources – resistance and cures – were little or not available during the 1918-9 influenza pandemic. However, occupational and spatial differences in exposure may have mattered in determining individual mortality risk.  In this work we use data from the Dutch civil registry to explore the influence of occupational characteristics including exposure to others at work and whether or not work occurred in an enclosed space as well as regional mortality differences. Findings suggest that occupational characteristics affected the likelihood of infection and mortality within the autumn wave, both in less-hit municipalities and the strongest-hit municipalities. Taken together, our findings suggest a stronger socioeconomic pattern in the pandemic than suggested by previous literature.

Video of Prof. Simonsen’s talk on “The First year of COVID-19 Pandemic” is now available.

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Blurb: One year ago, many European countries including Denmark went into an unprecedented lockdown.  So far we have been able to suppress transmission of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus to such an extent that less than 1 in 10 Danes have been infected so far.  And in a few months we will all be offered one of the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines that became available in record time.  Is that then the end of the pandemic? I will first discuss the knowns about the COVID-19 pandemic. First, about the collaboration with Kim Sneppen at the NBI regarding the phenomenon of superspreading, and modeling how this defining feature of the virus turns out to be an Achilles heel of the virus that has allowed effective suppression of epidemics of the virus while we waited for a vaccine.  Using Denmark as a case, I will consider the magnitude of the catastrophe that we managed to avoid so far.  Finally I will discuss accumulating data on the effectiveness of the vaccines, and discuss at various scenarios regarding our future life with COVID-19 in the vaccine era and the critical unknowns that cloud our view.

The 3rd PANSOC webinar was recorded & is now available

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Please find the talk given by Professor Siddharth Chandra, Michigan State University, 18th March, on the Demographic impacts of the 1918 influenza pandemic, here:

The Q&A session can be found here: