SSHM Virtual Covid Roundtable

SSHM Virtual Covid Roundtable

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SSHM Roundtable

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SSHM Virtual Roundtable : “Historians and Pandemic Policies: What role should historians play?”


Dr. Michael Bresalier (Swansea University)


  • Professor Virginia Berridge (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya (York University)
  • Dr. Mark Honigsbaum (City University of London)
  • Professor Esyllt Jones (University of Manitoba)

This roundtable addresses the role of historians and history in pandemic policies and policy-making. While historians have been called upon and used this moment to provide all manner of perspectives on Covid-19, they have been markedly absent from the discussion, development and assessment of policy-strategies at all levels – national, international, and multilateral. This roundtable is an opportunity to reflect on what role historians can or should play in pandemic policies.

Each contributor will share reflections on the questions below, after which discussion will be open to participants in the roundtable.

  • Why have historical perspectives/research played so little a role in policy responses to the pandemic?
  • What might have been done differently if they had?
  • In what ways can or have historical perspectives and research become part of policy-making agendas?

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