Keeping Apart and Coming Together: Mobility Restrictions and Confinement as Health Practices in a Longue Durée Perspective
Theme: 2. Pandemics and climate change: responses to global challenges
8-11 September 2021
This session focuses on two key questions: how did past societies, especially after Antiquity, use strategies of mobility and spatial knowledge to overcome or to prevent climatic, environmental and epidemic catastrophes? How did human actors link these strategies to the promotion of human, animal, and environmental health? Pre-modern communities have always faced dramatic and sometimes severe crises, such as environmental devastation, failure of crops, pollution, the proliferation of disease in both humans, animals, and non-animals. Archaeology and history tell us that these crises have prompted shifts in the ways that people inhabited their settlements and surrounding landscapes. Mitigation of negative impacts and pre-emption upon of these events by careful planning often required changes grounded in movement and in use of space. Thus mobility and spatial thinking were connected to maintaining and fostering health and safety, triggering social and cultural changes of short or long duration, not only from a reactive but also from a proactive perspective. Such actions could include physically isolating or creating barriers to sick individuals, moving communities from resource poor locations to resource dense locations, constructing specific zones or facilities for waste removal, or conversely regulating or protecting sources of water and food. Therefore promoting health required the ability to recognize the risks contained or intrinsic to a place, and to implement solutions which removed, separated or mitigated the potentially harming matter.
The main aim of this session is to bring together scholars who can build on their chronological, geographical as well as disciplinary expertise to examine common patterns and dissimilarities in the ways that different societies coped with negative impacts of disease and climatic crises, especially through changes in mobility and in space organization. We particularly welcome interdisciplinary papers which involve the integration of different scientific methods (archaeology, history of science, anthropology, climatology).
The deadline for abstract submission is the 11th of February.
You can register and find more information here.