Working Session: Health after the Pacific War: Pacific Islanders and Medical Infrastructure
Organizers: Sandra Widmer and Christine Winter
This session is about exploring the aftermath of war, the return of colonial nations & changes brought about by the United Nations.
Providing biomedical health care and conducting health research requires particular infrastructures. In this respect, the post war era was marked by particular trends in “magic bullets” and technological fixes for global problems of hunger, clean water and infectious disease to achieve “development”. This session looks at what contexts in the Pacific region can complicate this history. The post-war era also marked changes in economies and forms of labour and training for Pacific islanders. This panel will look at the work needed for post-war health infrastructure in a way that shows the overlap between labour history and biomedical care/medical research history. The panel asserts Pacific islanders' centrality in the topic, by looking at what historically specific kinds of labour or care relationships were needed in the development of infrastructure and biomedicine. We take a broad approach to infrastructure. (e.g. water, electricity, energy, institutions like hospitals, knowledge sharing systems, roads, shipping, transport, laboratories, medical equipment).
We welcome contributions on (but not limited to) the following topics:
• Post-war directions of research and health (UN, NGOs; cold war)
• Pacific Islander training and labour to build and operate infrastructures
• Health Infrastructures and Nation Building and/or Decolonization
• The transition from military to civilian health services
• Labour mobility, quarantine and health monitoring
Sandra Widmer, York University <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Christine Winter, Flinders University of South Australia <Christine.Winter@flinders.edu.au>