Epidemics in South African history
EPIDEMICS IN SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY
Emeritus Professor Howard Phillips, University of Cape Town
As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, South Africa has little awareness that this is not the first epidemic that the country has experienced. In an attempt to fill in this blank and thereby put Covid-19 into perspective, this course will examine five severe epidemics in South Africa’s past, focusing on their cause, course and consequences. Those attending the course should emerge with a far better understanding of the nature and role of epidemics in the country’s history and a clearer idea of how to make sense of Covid-19 comparatively.
The five epidemics to be examined are: smallpox (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries), bubonic and pneumonic plague (1901–1907), Spanish flu (1918–1919) polio (1944–1963) and HIV/AIDS (1982 to the present).
- Bubonic and pneumonic plague
- Spanish flu
This course will be offered on the Microsoft Teams platform. Participants will be sent a link.
Phillips, H. 2012. Plague, Pox and Pandemics: A Jacana Pocket History of Epidemics in South Africa. Auckland Park: Jacana Media.
Phillips, H. 2018. In a Time of Plague. Memories of the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 in South Africa Cape Town: Historical Publications Southern Africa. (Formerly Van Riebeeck Society).