2020 University of Chicago Summer Institute for Educators
“Reporting on Public Health: Challenges, Solutions and Lessons Learned”
Resources on Teaching Public Health and Racism
Summary: The 2020 University of Chicago Summer Institute for Educators focused on public health around the world in order to help educators address the COVD-19 pandemic in their classrooms. However, concurrent to the conference, protests against police brutality emerged in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. As such, UChicago Educator Outreach is providing resources that relate to both public health and racism.
Center for Middle Eastern Studies Resources
PUBLIC HEALTH IN THE MIDDLE EAST
COVID-19 Resources: Although the COVID-19 pandemic has posed serious challenges around the world, Middle Eastern countries face unique challenges due to their social, political, and economic orders. The reporting below draws out the idiosyncrasies of COVID-19’s impact on the region.
- Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP): COVID-19 Coverage
Prior Epidemics: Like other regions of the world, Middle East has faced serious public health challenges across time. Below is a sampling of resources that can guide educators seeking to teach about disease in the Middle East.
- Alexandra Sifferlin, “What to Know About the Massive Cholera Outbreak in Yemen,” Time, 26 July 2017
- Stuart Borsch, “Black Death in the Middle East and Europe,” Presentation at 2006 UChicago Summer Institute for Educators, “Epidemics: Then and Now.”
Arts / Culture: Integrating reflection on the current pandemic into classroom curricula through creative writing, visual arts, and performance offers students a chance to effectively confront the emotional weight of this global crisis. The article below offers glimpses into how Middle Eastern authors have written about prior epidemics that have traveled through the Middle East during its long history.
- Mustafa Abu Sneinah, “Plague and poetry: How Middle East authors have written about disease,” Middle East Eye, 27 March 2020
TEACHING RACISM IN THE MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA (MENA)
Definition: “Strong support for one particular religious or political group, especially when this leads to violence between different groups” (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary).
‘Sectarianism’ became a popular term in government and news media for describing conflict between religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East after 9/11, particularly during the US War in Iraq. However, it is considered a problematic term because it explains conflict as a byproduct of irreconcilable identities clashing over centuries of history, rather than contemporary political and social events. As the reality of conflict between different religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East lingers, it is important to understand the changing relationships between these groups over time. The recommended reading below addresses the question of sectarianism in the modern Middle East and its roots.
ARTICLES & BOOKS
- Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East,” Hurst, 2017
- Peter Mandeville and Shadi Hamid, “Islam as statecraft: How governments use religion in foreign policy,” Brookings Institute, November 2018
- Ussama Makdisi, “Understanding Sectarianism: Ussama Makdisi on the History & Future of the Middle East’s Gordian Knot,” Presentation at University of Denver Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 20 April 2015
TEACHING RACISM AGAINST MENA COMMUNITIES IN THE U.S.
In the wake of the Al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, 2001, old stereotypes about Arabs, Muslims, and people from the Middle East gained new ground in media and popular culture. Many of these tropes were present throughout the Cold War, as the image of the “Arab terrorist” proliferated in film and TV. However, 9/11 motivated a concern about Islam and the Muslim community in the U.S. CMES has compiled a resource list designed to help educators, students, and the general public identify and combat negative stereotypes about Middle Eastern communities on its website. Please visit the CMES Media Representations, Negative Stereotypes, and Islamophobia page to view these resources (articles, videos, and more).
Center for East Asian Studies Resources
PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES IN EAST ASIA
- Coronavirus: Lessons From Asia
Al Jazeera produced video on what lessons can be learned from the different approaches of four Asian nations to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Originally on Al Jazeera but video no longer available there)
- Wuhan: Life under Lockdown
Coronavirus is now spreading around the world as governments scramble to contain it. The outbreak began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been locked down since late January. With exclusive access to two film-makers insides the city, Our World tells the story of life under lockdown. It is a film which takes you from the deserted streets to the homes of those battling the virus. How do you survive when daily life gets shut down?
(Originally on BBC but the official video link only works in the UK)
- The big lesson from South Korea’s coronavirus response
A Vox produced video on South Korea’s success in controlling their coronavirus outbreak and what other countries can learn from them. A detailed look into how contact tracing works.
- Under the Dome
Self-financed film by Chai Jing produced in 2015 that openly criticizes state-owned energy companies, steel producers and coal factories, as well as showing the inability of the Ministry of Environmental Protection to act against the big polluters. The film was initially praised by the Chinese government but got banned soon after its released.
- Masking for a friend
99% Invisible briefly covers the history of medical masks as well as the differing cultural attitudes towards mask-wearing in the East vs. the West. Covers the Manchurian Plague of 1910, the 1918 Flu Epidemic, the 2003 SARS outbreak.
- “Hong Kong Delays Legislative Council Vote Citing Coronavirus Surge”
Reporting on recent developments in Hong Kong where the Chinese government is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to silence the pro-democracy movement by increasing policing and infringing on voter rights.
- Expert says 2020 Tokyo Olympics unsafe due to Fukushima
Reporting from ‘60 Minutes Australia’ to show ongoing radiation and public health issues from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster that contrast the government’s efforts to market Japan as “safe,” especially for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- What’s Behind South Korea’s COVID-19 Exceptionalism?
An ‘Atlantic’ piece that links South Korea’s past experience dealing with MERS in 2015 to their successful approach towards the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/whats-south-koreas-secret/611215/
- Is Fukushima Safe for the Olympics?
‘The Nation’ article on the repercussions of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster that are still felt in Japan today, which seriously put into the question the branding of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the “Recovery Olympics.”
- Little Voices from Fukushima
‘Little Voices from Fukushima’ is a documentary film dedicated to Japanese mothers and children living in the post-meltdown world of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. In the course of telling their stories, Director Hitomi Kamanaka takes us to Belarus, where we learn from mothers who experienced the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 28 years ago.
(also available for loan at the CEAS Film Library: https://ceas.uchicago.edu/content/film-library)
RACIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES
- The Asian American Response to Black Lives Matter is Part of a Long, Complicated History
A TIME piece on Asian and Black solidarity during the civil rights movement, interracial tensions, the model minority myth, and also Asian-Americans’ responsibility to fight anti-Blackness.
- A Response to Anti-Asian Harassment and Violence during COVID-19
A compiled listed of resources by the National Council for the Social Studies addressing the history of Asian discrimination in the US and social justice resources given the rise in anti-Asian sentiment due to COVID-19.
- Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
This toolkit represents the work and thinking of 15 grassroots organizations with Asian American bases living in the most precarious margins of power: low-income tenants, youth, undocumented immigrants, low-wage workers, refugees, women and girls, and queer and trans people.
Center for East European & Russian/Eurasian Studies Resources
PUBLIC HEALTH IN CEERES REGION
ARTICLES & RESEARCH
- Russia AIDS
A global information database with education resources and articles on HIV and AIDS
Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region COVID-19 Situation Report No. 4, focusing on Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.
ARTICLES & RESEARCH
- Roma People’s Project at Columbia University.
The Roma People’s Project at Columbia University will spotlight the Roma people and expand Roma studies by examining topics such as identity and stigma, mobility and displacement, and archival research and digital scholarship. The RPP aims to build a digital platform that identifies, examines, and curates material about how Roma define themselves and how others have represented them.
- Armenian Genocide Resources at Oxford University Press
Between the onset of World War I and the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923 approximately 1.5 million Armenians, or more than half of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population, died as a result of deportations, starvation, serial massacres, and mass executions. With the intent of informing, Holocaust and Genocide Studies offer this special edition reflecting on the Armenian Genocide, featuring selected articles from past issues. The six articles included in this virtual issue examine various aspects of the genocide, including its denial, and are available to read online for a limited time.
- Conflict in Ukraine
Paula Bronstein’s focus is Ukraine’s vulnerable, fragile elderly population trapped by an endless war that sees their lives frozen by conflict, impoverished, living in dilapidated homes.
- Former Yugoslavia genocide
Many of the victims who fled the violence and massacre still live in long-forgotten refugee and collective centres around Bosnia.
- Holocaust Museum Houston’s guide to the genocide in the former Yugoslavia:
- Migration Issues (refugees)
Twenty-five years after Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence, people displaced by the conflicts continue to live in Georgia proper. What role does religion play in these communities?
In the Caucasus mountains, members of the most scattered people in the world—the Circassians—are starting to come home following a decade of concerted online activism.
- “The Prosecutors” movie
The story of three relentlessly dedicated lawyers who are fighting to ensure that sexual violence in conflict is no longer met with impunity, but with justice.
- Refugees throughout Europe/Asia
In Europe, waves of immigrants have renewed feelings of resentment towards people with darker skin and “strange-sounding” names. The ongoing economic crisis has led some politicians to search for scapegoats in traditionally ostracized communities like the Roma and Jews. Extremist voices are gaining political power, inspiring white Europeans to take to the streets to “claim back” their place in Europe. As a result, millions of people in Europe are feeling like strangers at home.
Storytellers throughout Europe are documenting the growing feelings of xenophobia in their own countries. Strangers at Home features short films by a range of talented people in Europe – filmmakers, writers, cartoonists, musicians, scholars, as well as average citizens.