Event Title

A Biological-Historical Narrative of the Bengal Famine of 1943-44

Presenter Information

Joe Leffler

Location

Science Center, A255

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2012 4:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2012 5:00 PM

Abstract

Scientists and historians have studied famine independently. My thesis synthesizes these perspectives through a case study of the Bengal Famine of 1943-44, which killed close to three million people. My analysis builds on historical and biological literature as well as my own laboratory model of the neurological effects of famine more generally. This synthetic narrative provides evidence for a temporal expansion of famine’s boundaries in physical and political terms, and adds greater depth to existing famine narratives. We need a complete understanding of the breadth of famine’s effects to alleviate such complex disasters.

Notes

Session III, Panel 4: Empire, Agency, and the Body Politic in Late Modernity
Moderator: Clayton Koppes, Professor of History

Major

History; Neuroscience

Advisor(s)

Shulamit Magnus, History; Jewish Studies
Mark Braford, Biology; Neuroscience

Project Mentor(s)

Michael Fisher, History

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Apr 27th, 4:00 PM Apr 27th, 5:00 PM

A Biological-Historical Narrative of the Bengal Famine of 1943-44

Science Center, A255

Scientists and historians have studied famine independently. My thesis synthesizes these perspectives through a case study of the Bengal Famine of 1943-44, which killed close to three million people. My analysis builds on historical and biological literature as well as my own laboratory model of the neurological effects of famine more generally. This synthetic narrative provides evidence for a temporal expansion of famine’s boundaries in physical and political terms, and adds greater depth to existing famine narratives. We need a complete understanding of the breadth of famine’s effects to alleviate such complex disasters.