How can understanding past pandemics help us understand the effects of COVID-19 on human populations and our environment? Historians have studied many factors influencing the course of a variety of historical epidemics and pandemics. This talk will place the COVID-19 pandemic in context with some of the lessons environmental historians have learned from research into past disease incidents.


Jakobina Arch
Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies

Jakobina Arch is an environmental historian who teaches classes on environmental history, animal history and East Asian history. Her research focuses on marine environmental history in early modern (Tokugawa) Japan, looking at human relationships with whales and with the sea.

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COVID-19: A Liberal Arts Approach to the Study of a Global Pandemic was created in the spring of 2020 as a special one-credit course for Whitman College’s most newly admitted students, offering them an opportunity to get to know our distinguished faculty and to study a significant event in human history.