Epidemic Orientalism with Alexandre White
Episode 111 - May 31, 2023
Alexandre White (Johns Hopkins University) joins Merle and Lee to discuss his recent book on Epidemic Orientalism. Alexandre begins by defining epidemic orientalism, focusing on why particular diseases – cholera, plague and yellow fever – (but not others) have been regulated. The conversation continues to examine the role of the West in placing these diseases and the East within the same frame, and Alexandre provides historical background to the beginnings of what we understand today as global public health – international sanitary conferences in the mid-19th century which served health purposes but were also inherently political and colonial in nature. In addition, Alexandre surveys the roles and activities of the WHO as the contemporary manifestation, also through the role it played in the recent Covid pandemic.
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University