Voices from the Past: Pandemics

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Pandemics are not new. However, for most of us, COVID-19 is the first pandemic we have experienced first-hand. There have been numerous periods of mass illness and epidemics that have affected America, specifically during the early years of our country’s formation and the more well-known Spanish Flu (1918-1920). Join us as we have a conversation with two of our campus experts, Dr. Tom Dicke and Dr. Philippa Koch, about these past events, what we have learned, and how those experiences were similar or different from what we are experiencing today.

Date: March 24, 2021 [Wednesday]

Time: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Zoom Format: This event is free and open to the public via live Zoom Webinar. Questions can be submitted via the webinar Q&A feature.


Dr. Tom Dicke, Professor, History Department, Missouri State University

Dr. Tom Dicke is a professor in the History Department and came to Missouri State over 30 years ago. He has been studying and writing about the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 off and on for the past fifteen years. Most of his work uses Springfield as a case study on what public health officials did to stop the flu and how the public responded.

Dr. Philippa Koch, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies Department, Missouri State University

Assistant professor of religious studies, Dr. Philippa Koch, has a main research interest is the history of religion and medicine in America, with a focus on colonial America and the Atlantic world. In her forthcoming book, The Course of God’s Providence: Religion, Health, and the Body in Early America, she examines how Christian communities responded to sickness and epidemics in a context of ever-new medical and scientific developments. Koch is a member of the Religious Studies Department at Missouri State. Her teaching on health and body brings her research to the modern world, and she enjoys exploring the connections between past and present and the continuing relevance of the themes of medicine, body, sexuality, and emotion in American religion.
Sponsored by:
Missouri State University, Office of Public Affairs Support, 417-836-8832