The Complex Politics of Sleeping Sickness Control: Research and Treatment-Seeking around Lake Victoria

April 2, 2020 -
4:00pm to 5:30pm

Abstract: A history of epidemic illness and political change, Prof. Webel’s research focuses on epidemics of sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis) around Lake Victoria in the early twentieth century, as well as the colonial public health programs designed to control them. This talk explores the successes and failures of a widely used colonial public health intervention—the sleeping sickness camp—by putting colonial tactics in conversation with African strategies to mitigate illness and death in the past. It connects responses to sleeping sickness with experiences of historical epidemic—such as plague, cholera, and smallpox—to demonstrate important continuities before and after colonial incursion. African strategies to mitigate disease fundamentally shaped colonial disease prevention programs in a crucial moment of political and social change.

Location and Address

501 Cathedral of Learning