A Long History of Pandemics

Eberhard L. Faber Class of 1915 Memorial Lecture in Literature

A tangled narrative of science, politics, and human communities, beginning with smallpox in the 18th century and extending to the COVID vaccination landscape of our own time, with some discussion of AI along with RFK Jr.

Nov 7, 2023, 4:30 pm6:00 pm



Event Description
Wai Chee Dimock

Photo courtesy of Yale University

Wai Chee Dimock writes about public health, climate change, and indigenous communities, focusing on the symbiotic relation between human and nonhuman intelligence. She is now at Harvard’s Center for the Environment, working on a new book, “AI, Microbes, and Us: Risky Partners in an Age of Pandemics and Climate Change.” A collaborative project, “AI for Climate Resilience,” is co-sponsored by Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Inteligence and Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs

Dimock’s most recent book is Weak Planet (2020). Other books include Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2006); Shades of the Planet (2007); and a team-edited anthology, American Literature in the World: Anne Bradstreet to Octavia Butler ( 2017). Her 1996 book, Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy, was reissued in a new edition in 2021. Her essays have appeared in Artforum, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Hill, Los Angeles Review of Books, New York Times, New Yorker, and Scientific American.

Her lecture course “Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner” is available through Open Yale Courses.

Outside Yale, Dimock was a consultant for “Invitation to World Literature,” a 13-part series produced by WGBH and aired on PBS stations in the fall of 2010. A related Facebook forum, “Rethinking World Literature,” is still ongoing.

  • Department of English
  • Humanities Council