Senate Briefing: Zika: Historic Parallels and Policy Responses

The National History Center of the American Historical Association will hold a Senate briefing on the Zika virus: historic parallels, and policy responses.  J.R. McNeill of Georgetown University and Margaret Humphreys of Duke University will discuss  the history of Zika’s mosquito vectors and the complexity of planning public health programs to counter disease-bearing mosquitoes.  Amanda Moniz of the National History Center will moderate.

The briefing will be held on Monday, September 12, from 12:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 430, Washington, DC.

RSVPs are requested.  Click here to RSVP.  For more information please email Amanda Perry at

Meet the Presenters

J.R. McNeill has held two Fulbright awards, fellowships from Guggenheim MacArthur, and the Woodrow Wilson Center.   His books include Something New Under the Sun (2000), winner of two prizes, listed by the London Times among the 10 best science books ever written (despite not being a science book), and translated into 9 languages; The Human Web (2003), translated into 7 languages; and Mosquito Empires (2010), which won the Beveridge Prize from the AHA and was listed by the Wall Street Journal among the best books in early American history.  In 2010 he was awarded the Toynbee Prize for ‘academic and public contributions to humanity.’

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Margaret Humphreys is the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine at Duke University.  She received her PhD in the History of Science (1983) and MD (1987) from Harvard University.  She is the author of Yellow Fever and the South (Rutgers, 1992); Malaria: Poverty, Race and Public Health in the United States (Johns Hopkins, 2001);  Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier in American Civil War (2008); and Marrow of Tragedy: The Health Crisis of the American Civil War (2013). She teaches the history of medicine, public health, global health, food, and biology to undergraduates at Duke University, and is editor emeritus of the Journal of the History of Medicine.

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Meet the Moderator

Amanda Moniz received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2008 and held a Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University from 2008 to 2010. A scholar of transatlantic humanitarianism in the American Revolutionary era, Dr. Moniz has received numerous grants and fellowships including from the Social Science Research Council and the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Program on the Early American Economy and Society. She is the author of From Empire to Humanity: The American Revolution and the Origins of Humanitarianism (OUP, 2016). She has taught at Yale, the Catholic University of America, and American University.

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