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Grant number: RZ-51757-14

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RZ-51757-14

Columbia University (New York, NY 10027-7922)
Amy Lauren Fairchild (Project Director: January 2014 to present)
Constance A. Nathanson (Co Project Director: January 2014 to present)

Outbreak Anxieties: The Contingent Politics of Panic and Crisis in America

The writing of a book and several articles analyzing the history of American responses to perceived panics and crises relating to public health. (36 months)

Panic and crises—different sides of the same coin, labels applied to perceived threats to order—are leitmotifs that run throughout the history of medicine and public health. Remarkably, there is no history that interrogates disease-related panics either from the perspective of social history or the history of ideas. Likewise, there has been no sustained attention to crisis as a routine and historically recurrent, even necessary, catalyst for public health institution building. We consider crisis and disease-related panic in the context of four critical paradigm shifts that historians of international history and public health have used as analytic frames. Our approach draws on the conceptual strengths of sociology to frame the roles and meanings of panic and crisis and pair it with the power of history to locate events in context in a thickly descriptive fashion, uniquely positioning us to examine the politics of crisis and panic not in static, predictive terms but rather as historical

Project fields:
History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; History of Science; U.S. History

Program:
Collaborative Research

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$299,590 (approved)
$299,590 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2014 – 9/30/2017