Epidemic Waves in European and Western Mediterranean Countries during the 18th and 19th centuries: Public Health Laws and Policies

Call for Papers
May 20, 2023
Subject Fields: 
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Political History / Studies, Public Health

The International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions (IC) is recognized as an Affiliated Society with the American Historical Association. Its scholars have participated in AHA annual meetings since 2020. The International Commission was founded in Lausanne in 1936 and has been continuously active throughout the world since 1945. The International Commission publishes the Journal of Parliaments, Estates and Representation three times a year.  Please see www.ichrpi.info/ for further information regarding the history of the organization and its purposes. The following topics have been designed to solicit the interest of scholars who work in the areas of political and parliamentary history at any time in the last 3,000 years and anywhere in the world.

31 May 2023 is the AHA’s deadline for Affiliated Societies to submit panels with scholar abstracts, bios [including institutional affiliation or independent scholar status]. Therefore, the International Commission requests that scholars submit this information by 20 May 2023. The 2024 annual meeting of the AHA (and International Commission panels) will take place in San Francisco. For further details on this point see www.historians.org/annual-meeting/future-meetings.

When the material world challenges civil governments to respond, effective solutions cannot always conform to existing norms of behavior.  From 2020 through 2022 mandatory vaccination programs, quarantines and travel restrictions are unpleasant reminders that when governments do what they have to do, personal autonomy pays a price for public health. Scholars are welcome to pick their poison: smallpox, cholera, diphtheria, syphilis – there is a wide range of choices when it comes to infectious diseases – and explain how challenges to the rule of law played out in these fact-rich situations. Geo. Washington ordered his troops to be vaccinated against smallpox but during the presidency of James Monroe Congress repealed a national plan to promote vaccination. Scholars are encouraged to assess the relations between the work of scientific communities and that of public institutions (and legislative assemblies) as infectious diseases spread, were contained and receded as public health threats.

Please contact Dr. Peter J. Aschenbrenner, National Convenor (US) for further information. We also welcome the interest of scholars wishing to serve as panel chairs and/or commentators.   The rules on remote participation at AHA/IC panels are in a state of flux so please check with Dr. Aschenbrenner for details on this point.



Contact Info: 

Peter J. Aschenbrenner

National Convenor (US), International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions