During the week of July 16, 2018, NLM will join the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, and The Catholic University of America, to host Flu! The 1918 Spanish Influenza in American & Worldwide History, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for K-12 Teachers, organized by Virginia Tech through an NEH grant to that institution.
Flu! will provide selected K-12 teachers from around the country with an opportunity to read and discuss the most recent scholarship on the 1918 Spanish Flu written by American & worldwide historians as well as interdisciplinary studies by epidemiologists, demographers, & public health scholars. In addition, participants will have opportunities to pursue their own research topics using the diverse collections & resources of the host institutions. Seminar participants will acquire a broader understanding of the role of disease & health in American and world history, an awareness of how historical precedents inform current plans for dealing with global pandemics, & an appreciation of a complicated topic that engages scholarly as well as broad general interest.
Participants in the workshop are selected through a nationally competitive process, administered by the NEH, which closed on March 1, 2018. The selected teachers are offered a stipend for their participation through the NEH-awarded grant, intended to cover travel, lodging & other costs. The final roster of participating teachers will be posted on the seminar website in late spring.
At NLM, teachers will study unique & rare print materials, including pamphlets, journals, & public health reports, to advance their research projects on the history of the 1918 Spanish Flu. The visit will provide them with a unique opportunity to examine primary sources in their original print form as well as materials that are not available in any digital collection. Also at NLM, the teachers will learn about historical & current perspectives on the 1918 influenza pandemic from the distinguished epidemiologist Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger of the National Institute for Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), & Dr. David Morens, Senior advisor to the director of NIAID. The participation of Drs. Taubenberger & Morens in the seminar continues their longstanding & valued engagement with the NLM, NEH, & Virginia Tech. Previously, during the summer of 2015, they contributed to The Spanish Influenza of 1918, an NEH-funded summer seminar also organized by Virginia Tech.
NLMʼs support of Flu! is part of its recently reaffirmed partnership with the NEH which, since its inception in 2012, has yielded a substantial & growing record of advancing research, education, & public service through NEH-funded initiatives, including:
- Viral Networks: An Advanced Workshop in Digital Humanities & Medical History, in January 2018, which brought together scholars from various fields of medical history whose innovative research shows promise through the use of methods, tools, & data from the digital humanities.
- Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, & Data from the Digital Humanities, in April 2016, which explored emerging approaches to the analysis of texts and images in the field of medical history
- Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, & the Digital Humanities, in April 2013, which explored the intersection of digital humanities & biomedicine
- An Epidemiology of Information: New Methods for Interpreting Disease & Data, in October 2013, which explored new methods for large-scale data analysis of epidemic disease.
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