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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Epidemic Encounters

Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918-20

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Epidemic Encounters

Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918-20

Health crises such as the SARS epidemic and H1N1 have rekindled interest in the 1918 influenza pandemic, which swept the globe after the First World War and killed approximately fifty million people. Epidemic Encounters zeroes in on Canada, where one-third of the population took ill and fifty-five thousand people died, to consider the various ways in which this country was affected by the pandemic. How did military and medical authorities, health care workers, and ordinary citizens respond? What role did social inequalities play in determining who survived? Contributors answer these questions as they pertained to both local and national contexts. In the process, they offer new insights into medical history’s usefulness in the struggle against epidemic disease.

304 pages

Table of Contents

Introduction / Magda Fahrni and Esyllt Jones

Part 1: Public Responses to the Influenza Pandemic in Canada

1 The Limits of Necessity: Public Health, Dissent, and the War Effort during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic / Mark Osborne Humphries

2 “Rendering Valuable Service”: The Politics of Nursing during the 1918-19 Influenza Crisis / Linda Quiney

3 “Respectfully Submitted”: Citizens and Public Letter Writing during Montreal’s Influenza Epidemic, 1918-20 / Magda Fahrni

Part 2: Who Contracted Influenza and Why?

4 The North-South Divide: Social Inequality and Mortality from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Hamilton, Ontario / D. Ann Herring and Ellen Korol

5 Beyond Biology: Understanding the Social Impact of Infectious Disease in Two Aboriginal Communities / Karen Slonim

6 A Geographical Analysis of the Spread of Spanish Influenza in Quebec, 1918-20 / Francis Dubois, Jean-Pierre Thouez, and Denis Goulet

Part 3: Influenza and the Limits of Modernity

7 Flu Stories: Engaging with Disease, Death, and Modernity in British Columbia, 1918-19 / Mary-Ellen Kelm

8 Spectral Influenza: Winnipeg’s Hamilton Family, Interwar Spiritualism, and Pandemic Disease / Esyllt Jones

Part 4: Influenza and Public Health in the Contemporary Context

9 Toronto’s Health Department in Action: Influenza in 1918 and SARS in 2003 / Heather MacDougall

Conclusion / Esyllt Jones and Magda Fahrni

Selected Bibliography



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