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Pandemics, Xenophobia, and Fear

This is a past event.

Monday, February 14 at 3:00pm

Virtual Event

One of the most evident manifestations of the present pandemic has been the blaming of traditional (and non-traditional) out-groups for causing or spreading the COVID-19 virus. Chinese people, Muslims, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, American White Nationalists, and the BAME in the UK have all been blamed. Central to Xun Zhou’s new co-authored book,  ‘I Know Who Caused COVID-19’:  Pandemics and Xenophobia, is the question of what happens when such groups are blamed for public health crises. In this talk, Zhou will address both the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the present Delta variant surge in light of the xenophobia + pandemics model. Part of the Mondays at the Museum Spring 2022 Lecture Series, “Jews, Plagues, and Pandemics.” 

Xun Zhou is Reader in the Department of History at the University of Essex. Currently, she is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Dr. Zhou is one of Europe’s most productive historians, working at the boundaries of health, medicine, science, religion, and everyday life in modern China. She has authored a number of groundbreaking books, including Chinese Perceptions of the ‘Jew’ and Judaism: A History of Youtai (2001). Her new book, The People’s Health: Health Intervention and Delivery in Mao’s China, 1949-1983 (McGill-Queen University Press, 2020), is the first systematic study on health care and medicine in Mao’s China. From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, she has been regularly interviewed by various major media outlets for her comments on the outbreak in Wuhan and the Chinese health system as well as the historical correlates of the pandemic. Her new co-authored book 'I Know Who Caused COVID-19': Pandemics and Xenophobia (Reaktion Books and University of Chicago Press, 2021) is a timely, cogent examination of blame and xenophobia, both of which have been brought to the surface by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event Type

Arts & Culture


General Public

Jewish Museum of Florida
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