CBHA/ACHA Talks Presents Pandemics and Business (History): Lessons from the Past

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CBHA/ACHA Talks Presents Pandemics and Business (History): Lessons from the Past

October 30, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The 1918-20 influenza pandemic has been cited often as one of the few relatively recent events that is comparable to the current pandemic.   Coming between the end of the Great War and the Roaring Twenties, the 1918-20 pandemic had a profound impact upon a generation of Canadians already scarred by the trauma of war.   What lessons can we learn from this earlier episode that might provide clues as to how our current situation with COVID-19 may develop, not just in terms of the social and political response, but in its impact upon the economy and business?

Bringing medical, social and business history together, join us for a discussion with Professors Magda Fahrni of the Université du Québec à Montréal, Dimitry Anastakis from the University of Toronto and James Onusko from Northern Lakes College on what the pandemics of the past can tell us about how the economy and business are shaped by major health crises.


Magda Fahrni teaches women’s history, family history, and the history of twentieth-century Québec and Canada at the Université du Québec à Montréal.  She is the author of many articles and several books, including the forthcoming Of Kith and Kin: A History of Families in Canada (Oxford University Press, 2021).  She edits the McGill-Queen’s University Press series Studies on the History of Quebec and is currently working on a new monograph on risk and accidents in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Montréal.  She has a longstanding interest in pandemics and is the co-editor, with Esyllt W. Jones, of Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society, and Culture in Canada, 1918-20 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012).

Dimitry Anastakis is the LR Wilson/RJ Currie Chair in Canadian Business History in the History Department and at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.   A scholar of postwar Canadian business and the economy, Professor Anastakis’s current research projects include finishing a book about the Bricklin SV-1, a car produced in Canada in the 1970s, and embarking on a major research project on postwar Canadian neoliberalism and free trade as part of the SSHRC Partnership Grant, “Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time.”  Professor Anastakis chairs the Canadian Business History Association, oversees the Business History Reading Group, and is general editor of the Themes in Business and Society series from the University of Toronto Press.

James Onusko teaches in the University Studies program at Northern Lakes College with a focus on the history of childhood, children and youth and post-Confederation history in Canada. He has published a public history for the Government of Ontario entitled: Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission: 100 Years of Assistance to Veterans in Need, 1915-2015. He is co-editing, alongside Dimitry Anastakis, an updated version of Ontario Since Confederation: A Reader with University of Toronto Press. His contributed chapter is: “'I had a little bird, its name was Enza,': Children, Adolescents and the Spanish Flu in Ontario, 1918-20.” His forthcoming book is Boom Kids: Growing Up in Calgary’s Suburbs, 1950-70” published with Wilfrid University Press in their Studies in Family and Childhood in Canada series.

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CBHA/ACHA Talks Presents Pandemics and Business (History): Lessons from the Past


October 30, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


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