Deadline: 15 November 2021



Sources, histories, imaginations

Mahón/Maó (Menorca) Illa del Llatzeret

Date: 5-7 May 2022

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Image source: To prevent influenza! Paul Thompson, Illustrated Current News 1918. US National Library of Medicine, Digital Collections

Image source: To prevent influenza! Paul Thompson, Illustrated Current News 1918. US National Library of Medicine, Digital Collections

Coordinated by Francisco Javier Martínez (Universidad de Zaragoza)
Celia Miralles-Buil (Université de Strasbourg)
Quim Bonastra (Universitat de Lleida)

The European Spring School on History of Science and Popularization is a joint venture of the Societat Catalana d’Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica and Institut Menorquí d’Estudis. The only one of its kind, held for two decades with the aim of discussing issues and challenges in the history of science, technology and medicine, with a truly international outlook, constructive criticism and convivial atmosphere. Information on past editions


The COVID-19 pandemic has definitively shaken the late 20th-century belief in the end of infectious disease outbreaks in Western societies. The result is a feeling of reluctant reconnection with the past, when recurrent waves of plague, cholera, yellow fever, or influenza wreaked havoc upon large sections of the world population. Pandemics lie ahead again, imminent or in a more distant future, and collective fear, mistrust and disorientation are likely to arise from time to time, as they did in previous centuries. Another general conviction is that COVID-19 will trigger – or accelerate – disruptions in politics, economy, society and culture. Parallels with the instability of the interwar period have already been suggested.The 11th European Spring School “Pandemic pasts, pandemic futures. Sources, histories, imaginations” intends to live up to the intellectual and social challenges brought about by the current pandemic. It will explore a trans-disciplinary idea: when a crisis storms the present, the search for solutions obliges to revisit the past and to re-imagine the future. Taking pandemics as events whose medical and sanitary traits are matched (or even exceeded) by their social, economic, cultural and political dimensions, the School will examine how devastating waves of disease end up bringing new configurations of collective life. A multidisciplinary approach will combine historical, anthropological, and artistic perspectives.

As in previous editions, this ESS is structured in key-note lectures, workshops, and poster sessions. Guest lecturers and artists will include:

▪ Christian Bonah (Université de Strasbourg)
▪ Iris Borowy (Shanghai University/EUI, Florence)
▪ Alexandre Faye (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris)
▪ Mark Honigsbaum (City, University of London)
▪ MITO Collective (

The 11th ESS is open to junior scholars and postgraduate students of both social sciences and humanities or scientific background, who will have a great opportunity to engage with cutting edge work and present their own contributions. The School will particularly favour proposals that cross boundaries between disciplines, temporal focus and working spaces. All participants are expected to take part in the discussions of the lectures and workshops, to visit and comment the posters exhibit and to engage in the mentoring and artistic sessions.

The ESS will be finally held on 5-7 May 2022 at the premises of the old Mahón/Maó lazaretto, in the island of Menorca.

The deadline for proposals to the workshops and poster sessions is 15 November 2021. Please, send a 200-word abstract and a 1-page CV to


Session 1, Thursday 5th May 2022 15-18:45h

Lecture. Reassessing pandemics in the times of COVID. Iris Borowy, Mark Honigsbaum.
Workshop + poster session: Comparing cholera, influenza and coronavirus

Proposals for this workshop are invited to address the biological, social, political, epidemiological, cultural, gender, environmental, or economic factors behind the following (or related) topics:

a) The belief in the end of infectious diseases that preceded the cholera pandemic of 1826-37, the “Spanish flu” of 1918-20 and the COVID of 2019-21

b) How cholera, flu and COVID germs displaced other microbial candidates to dominate the global epidemiological scene; how vector-borne, water-borne pandemics (cholera, yellow fever) were displaced by human-to-human transmission (flu, SARS, COVID)

c) How India and China, the geopolitical keys for the British Empire and today’s globalization, became recurrent epicenters of pandemics (or perceived as such)

e) How cholera and flu provided the background for a (conflict-ridden) development of national and international/global health schemes and what developments could be expected during the times of COVID.

Session 2, Friday 6th May 2022 10-13:45h

Lecture: Pandemic sources for a history of the present: collecting, treating and analyzing native digital archives. Christian Bonah, Alexander Faye.
Workshop + poster session: Finding and processing historical sources on pandemics

In contrast with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the experience of researchers dealing with past epidemics has been marked by scarcity of sources. As health issues were particularly sensitive for populations and public authorities alike, researchers were obliged to be imaginative and designing original methods to study both diseases and measures devised to check them. Rather than dealing with the content of research, this workshop invites participants from multiple disciplinary backgrounds, working on various geographical areas and different historical periods, to present their sources on epidemics, and especially to reflect on the methods used to find and process them.


Session 3. Friday, 6th May, 15-18:45h

Imagining and dealing with the new after-Covid world. MITO Collective

This artistic workshop will be run by MITO Collective and is integrated into its ongoing global project Augmented Irreality ( A collaborative work of art will be created for Maó’s public space and performed at the end of the session.


Session 4. Saturday, 7th May, 10-13:45h

Mentoring + poster discussion

This interactive session will, on the one hand, provide young scholars and postgraduate students attending/presenting at the School the opportunity to personally discuss their research activities and career with both guest lecturers and artists, and the School organizers. On the other hand, the session will feature a tour of the poster exhibit, in which the authors will present their research to all participants and discuss it with them.



19- 20 novembre 2021
Institut d’Estudis Catalans. Barcelona


PANDEMIC PASTS, PANDEMIC FUTURES Sources, histories, imaginations

Mahón/Maó (Menorca) Illa del Llatzeret 5 - 7 May 2022

Actes d’Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica