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WN@tL: “Staggering Losses: World War 1 and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918”
March 6, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pmFree
Speaker: Micaela Sullivan-Fowler, Ebling Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections
Bio: Micaela is the Head of Rare books and Special Collections and Head of Marketing & Communications at the Ebling Library for the Health Sciences on UW’s west campus. She curates the collections of materials that spans the 15th century through the early 20th century. She received her master’s degree in library science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and her master’s in public history at Loyola University in Chicago. Before coming to UW in 1998 she was a stay at home mom who helped inform one the first online medical databases, and before that, was a historical and clinical librarian at the American Medical Association in Chicago. In the last two decades, Micaela has been responsible for helping countless students learn how to optimize their historical research skills, been a liaison to UW’s Department of Medical History & Bioethics, envisioned and coordinated a journal advertisement retrieval project and nurtured the beginnings of the UW Science Expeditions on the west side of campus. But if you ask her what her most creative, proudest moments are, she would likely say, the exhibitions that she installed over the last 10 years. Many of those coming to Wednesday Nite @ the Lab might have seen some of her favorites, Fallout: The Mixed Blessing of Radiation & the Public Health, Seaworthy: A History of Maritime Health & Medicine, Informing Consent: Unwitting Subjects in Medicine’s Pursuit of Beneficial Knowledge, and It’s Good for You: 100 Years of the Art & Science of Eating.
Fallout, Informing Consent and It’s Good for You were created in conjunction with the Go Big Read common book reading program on UW’s campus. Fallout and Seaworthy also had an art installation component to them, one on Chernobyl photographs and one on deep sea watercolors which Micaela coordinated. In planning an exhibition, Micaela capitalizes on the print, online and artifactual resources available at Ebling and on campus. Starting with a health sciences sensibility, she then looks for relationships between disciplines, between themes, and between pieces in the individual display cases. A presumably clinical topic like maritime medicine, for example, revealed countless conjunctions with science, medicine, economics, society, race, culture, and the humanities. The stories that were uncovered through the primary journal, advertising, book, newspaper and magazine resources place those themes in different contexts than we might have anticipated, and can act as a catalyst for further exploration.
She looks forward to you visiting the current exhibition, Staggering Losses: World War 1 & the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and seeing what she revealed. Though constrained by 13 smallish glass display cases, the exhaustive topic of WW1 and influenza was given an admirable run for its money…
Description: The presentation (with representative images from the display cases) will focus on the process of creating the exhibition from print and online resources, the narratives that were revealed, the conjunctions made between the various disciplinary themes, and the research opportunities that remain. Overall, it’s about medical transport, medical care, reconstruction of bodies and psyches, animal “volunteers,” UW soldiers and students, people of color, both soldiers and caregivers, a virulent virus and the indomitable human spirit.