Visiting Speaker Series: Chernoh Bah, Ph.D candidate, Department of History / Mellon Cluster Fellow in the Program of African Studies, Northwestern University
April 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
5055 Vilas & Zoom
Disease Narratives and Debates: Contending Origin of the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
Between 2014 and 2016, the largest and deadliest Ebola epidemic in history erupted in West Africa with 29,000 infections and over 11,000 deaths mostly in the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Scholars and journalists have continued to examine and debate various aspects of the outbreak, including its origin and public health impacts. This presentation will describe the contending scientific and media debates surrounding the epidemiologic origins and spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
BIO: Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of History and Mellon Cluster Fellow in the Program of African Studies (PAS) at Northwestern University. Bah’s research focuses on the history of medicine and medical experimentation in colonial West Africa. His dissertation explores how prison labor became central to different kinds of medical and agricultural projects in Sierra Leone between the First and Second World Wars; and the ways medical researchers from Liverpool and colonial officials in Sierra Leone conceptualized and justified the use of convict labor.
Bah has worked extensively in West Africa as a journalist, political activist, and writer. He is the author of The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Corporate Gangsters, Multinationals, and Rogue Politicians (2015), and Neocolonialism in West Africa: A Collection of Articles and Essays (2014), and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Africanist Press, an investigative journalism project focusing on democracy, free speech, and the fight against corruption in Africa.