- INTRO: WHAT IS BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY? [00:00]
If your only introduction to anthropology is from TV shows like Bones or Indiana Jones, Dr Heather Battles will set you straight on the subfield of biological anthropology.
- THE ATTRACTION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE (02:04)
Dr Heather Battles talks to us about the family history that drew her to research polio instead of the 1918 ‘flu epidemic and how this interest endured right up to her PhD.
- POLIO: A SCARY SUMMER (04:50)
In this segment we discuss how fear of disease drives specific behaviours, especially when children are involved.
- DIGGING THROUGH DATA (07:21)
How do you find historical information about epidemics? Newspapers? Cemeteries? Can anyone access archives? We explore the local and international sources Dr Heather Battles has used in her research.
- PAST PANDEMICS & COVID LINKS (11:08)
New Zealand’s 1916 polio epidemic, and the 1918 influenza (the biggest pandemic in human history) were largely forgotten. What correlations can be found between historical infectious disease outbreaks and COVID-19?
- LOCKDOWN RESEARCH IN THE WINDOWLESS ROOM (14:27)
People’s worlds shrunk to one house or even one room during lockdown. Researchers were no different. We discuss how to navigate the challenges, as well what opportunities were presented in terms of collaborations.
- EPIDEMICS EXPERTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT (20:15)
Expert interviews, briefing papers for the World Health Organisation and pivoting research in the midst of a pandemic: positives and profiles.
- VACCINE PASSES (24:55)
We discuss the history of health passes and the role they played in preventing the spread of infectious disease
- MONKEYPOX & DISEASE VISIBILITY (28:50)
As we were recording this episode, the World Health Organisation declared the 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak as a global emergency. Dr Heather Battles talks us through smallpox eradication, immunity, Cold War politics and ring vaccination.
- LABOUR, GENDER, ABLEIST POLICIES IN VIEW (34:07)
To avoid ‘death by zoom’ online conferences have adapted and changed to retain interactivity, and break down access barriers due to disability, lack of funding or visa inequities. Are these changes here to stay? With climate change a present reality, can we afford to go back to in-person conferencing?
- NEXT STEPS, OSLO CALLING (40:03)
New Zealand’s borders have opened just in time for Dr Heather Battles to take up a four month period of research and study leave at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Letters in Oslo. She talks about the project’s aims and the value of interdisciplinarity.
- CLOSING THOUGHTS AND NEXT SHOW (42:44)
In the next episode of Pandemics Reflected, we speak with Dr Rochelle Menzies and Miriama Aoke about navigating the stages of a Masters degree and a PhD in lockdown, and what their research revealed about different pandemic experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand, specifically amongst Māori.
Mentioned in this episode, in order:
Guest: Dr Heather Battles, Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology. Read about her work at the University of Auckland (https://profiles.auckland.ac.nz/h-battles)
Research centre: Pandemics Hub – Past, Present, Future (https://pandemicsresearch.blogs.auckland.ac.nz/pandemics-reflected/)
TV shows: Forensics drama Bones (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460627/) and the now rather dated Indiana Jones (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082971/)
Papers Past. Digitised full-text New Zealand and Pacific newspapers, magazines and journals, books, and other formats (https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/)
Birth, Death and Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/)
Phillip Roberts and Heather T. Battles (2021) Measles and scarlet fever epidemic synergy and evolving pathogenic virulence in Victoria, Australia, 1853 – 1916. Social Science History 45(1):187 – 217. http://doi.org/10.1017/ssh.2020.41 Published online 14 December2020
Spinoff interview: A brief history of vaccine passes. https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/09-12-2021/a-brief-history-of-vaccine-passes by Naomii Seah
Journal article: “Learning from the past & present: Social science implications for COVID-19 immunity-based documentation” by Heather Battles and Dr Caitlin Pilbeam. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 2021.
Caitlin Pilbeam. Medical Anthropologist. (https://www.phc.ox.ac.uk/team/caitlin-pilbeam?7ba0745a-07bf-11ed-94c5-06a639fb4266)
Monkeypox 2022 Outbreak: https://www.who.int/emergencies/situations/monkeypox-oubreak-2022
Centre for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Letters in Oslo https://cas.oslo.no/
Agustín Fuentes. Anthropologist. https://anthropology.princeton.edu/people/faculty/agustin-fuentes