NLM Joins National Capital Area Institutions to Host "Flu! The 1918 Spanish Influenza in American and World History," a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for K-12 Teachers
March 16, 2018
During the week of July 16, 2018, NLM will join the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, and The Catholic University of America, to host Flu! The 1918 Spanish Influenza in American and World History, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar for K-12 Teachers, organized by Virginia Tech through an NEH grant to that institution.
Flu! will provide selected K-12 teachers from around the country with an opportunity to read and discuss the most recent scholarship on the 1918 Spanish Flu written by American and world historians as well as interdisciplinary studies by epidemiologists, demographers, and public health scholars. In addition, participants will have opportunities to pursue their own research topics using the diverse collections and resources of the host institutions. Seminar participants will acquire a broader understanding of the role of disease and health in American and world history, an awareness of how historical precedents inform current plans for dealing with global pandemics, and an appreciation of a complicated topic that engages scholarly as well as broad general interest.
Participants in the workshop are selected through a nationally competitive process, administered by the NEH, which closed on March 1, 2018. The selected teachers are offered a stipend for their participation through the NEH-awarded grant, intended to cover travel, lodging and other costs. The final roster of participating teachers will be posted on the seminar website in late spring.
At NLM, teachers will study unique and rare print materials, including pamphlets, journals, and public health reports, to advance their research projects on the history of the 1918 Spanish Flu. The visit will provide them with a unique opportunity to examine primary sources in their original print form as well as materials that are not available in any digital collection. Also at NLM, the teachers will learn about historical and current perspectives on the 1918 influenza pandemic from the distinguished epidemiologist Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Dr. David Morens, senior advisor to the director of NIAID. The participation of Drs. Taubenberger and Morens in the seminar continues their longstanding and valued engagement with the NLM, NEH, and Virginia Tech. Previously, during the summer of 2015, they contributed to The Spanish Influenza of 1918, an NEH-funded summer seminar also organized by Virginia Tech.
NLMʼs support of Flu! is part of its recently reaffirmed partnership with the NEH which, since its inception in 2012, has yielded a substantial and growing record of advancing research, education, and public service through NEH-funded initiatives, including:
- Viral Networks: An Advanced Workshop in Digital Humanities and Medical History, in January 2018, which brought together scholars from various fields of medical history whose innovative research shows promise through the use of methods, tools, and data from the digital humanities.
- Images and Texts in Medical History: An Introduction to Methods, Tools, and Data from the Digital Humanities, in April 2016, which explored emerging approaches to the analysis of texts and images in the field of medical history
- Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities, in April 2013, which explored the intersection of digital humanities and biomedicine
- An Epidemiology of Information: New Methods for Interpreting Disease and Data, in October 2013, which explored new methods for large-scale data analysis of epidemic disease.
Learn more about:
- Flu! The 1918 Spanish Influenza in American and World History from Virginia Tech and the website of the seminar.
- The Spanish Influenza of 1918, the 2015 Summer Seminar hosted by the NLM from the NLM in Focus blog and the archived website of the seminar.
- The origins, growth, and impact of the partnership between NLM and NEH from Journal of the Medical Library Association.
Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world's largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.