Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Saturday 15 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
S-13 FAM12 Pandemics: Learning from a Deep and 'Shallow' Past
SEB salen (Z)
Network: Family and Demography Chair: Joana-Maria Pujadas-Mora
Organizers: - Discussant: Tim Riswick
Isabelle Devos, Mélanie Bourguignon & Emmanuel Debruyne & Yoann Doignon & Thierry Eggerickx & Hilde Greefs & Jord Hanus & Wouter Ronsijn & Sven Vrielinck & Jean-Paul Sanderson & Tim Soens : The Spanish Flu in Belgium (1918-19): a Socially Neutral Disease?
Mortality from the so-called Spanish flu (1918-19) was long considered socially neutral (Rice and Bryder 2005, Tomkins 1992, Crosby 1976), but recent studies of this pandemic and more recent flu episodes dispute this view (Mamelund 2018, 2006). At the time of the Spanish Flu, in the Norwegian city of Bergen, ... (Show more)
Mortality from the so-called Spanish flu (1918-19) was long considered socially neutral (Rice and Bryder 2005, Tomkins 1992, Crosby 1976), but recent studies of this pandemic and more recent flu episodes dispute this view (Mamelund 2018, 2006). At the time of the Spanish Flu, in the Norwegian city of Bergen, for example, the poor first contracted the flu while the wealthy were less exposed during the first wave and had the highest risks during the second wave. What about Belgium? Using an individual-level approach based on the cause-of-death and population registers of three contrasting cities (the port city of Antwerp, the rural city of Zele and the industrial city of Châtelet), we examine who were the main victims during the three waves of the pandemic. Our data (age, sex, marital status, occupation and place of residence) enable it to characterize the socio-demographic profile of the deceased from the Spanish flu and to analyze whether the profile changed from one wave to another and what the determining factors were. (Show less)

Hilde Greefs, Isabelle Devos : The 1870s Smallpox Epidemic in Antwerp: Intra-Urban Social Inequalities in Vulnerability
Smallpox has been one of the most deadliest infectious diseases in the past, but has attracted comparatively less attention in the recent revived historiography on epidemics. Most studies on smallpox highlight the innovative ways in which the disease was eradicated by the invention of an effective vaccination and the role ... (Show more)
Smallpox has been one of the most deadliest infectious diseases in the past, but has attracted comparatively less attention in the recent revived historiography on epidemics. Most studies on smallpox highlight the innovative ways in which the disease was eradicated by the invention of an effective vaccination and the role of authorities in organising vaccination campaigns. However, smallpox outbreaks continued to plague several places in Europe during the nineteenth century, the 1870s outbreak being one of the largest and most famous upsurge. While differences between urban and rural areas as well as between cities are investigated, less attention has been given to intra-urban disparities in mortality. In this paper we will investigate social differences in mortality by an in-depth study of the 1870s smallpox outbreak in the port city of Antwerp. It scrutinizes how smallpox evolved in a long-term perspective and in which ways urban authorities dealt with the disease by organising health and vaccination campaigns before doing an in-depth inquiry into the 1870s outbreak. By investigating the scale, timing and geographical spreading of the 1870s outbreak across the city, and looking at divergent socio-demographic (such as age, gender and occupation) and socio-spatial (such as living conditions and housing density) factors, we will argue that the smallpox epidemic was not socially neutral, but had a divergent impact on the inhabitants of the port city. (Show less)

Wouter Ronsijn, Isabelle Devos & Tim Soens : Social and Demographic Inequalities and the 1690s Dysentery Epidemic in the Southern Netherlands: the Case of Sint-Niklaas
The dysentery outbreak of the mid-1690s was probably the deadliest epidemic of the early modern period in Flanders and Brabant. Dysentery is caused by a bacterial infection, after the consumption of contaminated water or food. Patients suffer from bloody diarrhoea and dehydration, and the illness can quickly become life-threatening, especially ... (Show more)
The dysentery outbreak of the mid-1690s was probably the deadliest epidemic of the early modern period in Flanders and Brabant. Dysentery is caused by a bacterial infection, after the consumption of contaminated water or food. Patients suffer from bloody diarrhoea and dehydration, and the illness can quickly become life-threatening, especially for the young. A dysentery epidemic in the mid-1690s in Flanders and Brabant lifted the number of burials up to twice the number of births in 1694, the highest recorded ratio for the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The epidemic fell in the middle of the Nine Years’ War (1689-1697) and in between two harvest crises (grain prices peaked in 1692-3 and 1697-8). In this paper we reconstruct social and demographic differences in mortality due to the dysentery epidemic in Sint-Niklaas, a large parish in Flanders (c. 6000 inhabitants around 1690) developing into a town. This is possible thanks to a unique set of sources: a parish register recording the sex, age at death and poverty status of the deceased; a status animarum of 1687 listing all inhabitants within their households, and a tax list of 1692. By combining these sources, we can reconstruct the social and demographic profile of dysentery victims in the early modern period. (Show less)



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