Thurs 22nd October
Public Health Crises Then and Now with Stephen Small
Date: Thursday 22nd October
The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Black People and the British Empire: Public Health Crises Then and Now with Stephen Small
Joining us from the University of California Berkeley, Professor of African Diaspora Studies Stephen Small, who was born in Liverpool 8, will describe and examine health, disease and medicine at the turn of the 20th century in Liverpool, Great Britain and the British Empire, especially Africa. Using the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine as a springboard, Stephen will consider how theories of Social Darwinism and Eugenics shaped government and elite group attitudes towards Black people at home and across the British Empire.
Medical initiatives and discoveries for the treatment, cure and prevention of tropical diseases dramatically enhanced the ability of Great Britain to conquer and settle vast territories across Africa. This demanded a response from the foremost Pan-Africanists of the time who concerned with the health of Africans at home and in the diaspora and changed the course of history. Despite happening over a century ago, these developments share some eerie similarities with the experiences of Black people during the covid-19 public health crisis in Britain today.
Stephen Small is currently Professor of African Diaspora Studies at the University of California Berkeley, where he has taught since 1995. Born and raised in Liverpool 8, he has carried our research, teaching and community training in the United States, Brazil and Jamaica, as well as in several nations across Western Europe. His most recent book is 20 Questions and Answers on Black Europe. He is currently researching legacies of imperialism in Black Europe, with an emphasis on Great Britain in general and Liverpool in particular.