Beyond Control and Eradication: Mosquitoes, Environment, Politics and Society
A Session at the 11th Biennial European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) Conference in Bristol, 5-9 July 2021
Organised by Maya Duany (Tel Hai College) and Dan Tamïr (University of Zurich)
Since January 2020, global attention regarding pathogens is focused on SARS-COV-19. Notwithstanding the havoc that virus has caused and is causing in all aspects of modern life on Earth, other older pathogens are still just as lethal and widespread – if not more. These include the pathogens responsible for malaria, dengue, yellow fever and other mosquito borne diseases, killing hundreds of thousands of humans annually, while sickening and debilitating millions more.
Mosquitoes accompany human beings in close proximity for tens of thousands of years already. Abundant historical literature has documented both the misery inflicted by mosquito borne diseases and campaigns for these creatures’ control and eradication. In this panel, however, we would like to examine the relations between humans and mosquitoes on the broadest scope possible, beyond the questions of the diseases the latter transmit and the technical attempts to mitigate or eliminate them. Our basic assumption is that since mosquitoes and humans have such a tight and long relationship, this relationship includes social, political, emotional and economic dimensions, who reach further than control or eradication.
For this session we are looking for two more papers historically examining human-mosquitoes relations. Questions to be discussed include but are not limited to:
- What were the social and economic conditions which enabled successful dealing with mosquitoes and MBDs?
- How did mosquitoes influence domestic policy home politics, not part of imperial or colonial projects?
- How did the attitude towards mosquitoes influence attitudes towards wetlands?
- Can one trace changes in the social attitude towards mosquitoes? Where, and what were the causes of such changes?
- What may the public perceptions of mosquitoes teach us about public perceptions of other environmental issues?
- How does human coping with mosquitoes and MBDs reflect economic power relations?