Gregg Mitman, 2020–21

Project Title:

Bloodborne: Invasion and the Politics of Disease

University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Gregg Mitman

Fellowship Work Summary

Gregg Mitman completed Empire of Rubber: Firestone’s Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia (The New Press, 2021). He also read broadly in African environmental history, while also conducting research to identify key sites in the upper Guinean rainforest in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone where large-scale land concessions for mining, timber, and agriculture, biodiversity hotspots, and emerging infectious diseases converge. The research undertaken informs a €2.5 million European Research Council Advanced Grant, beginning in December 2021, which aims to discern the ecological, economic, political, and social forces at play that have simultaneously turned certain regions of West Africa into profitable sites of natural resource extraction, productive enclaves of biomedical research, and hot zones of pandemic threats. He also outlined a short book addressing issues of global vaccine equity through an exploration of the history of yellow fever, hepatitis B, and Ebola in Liberia, which will be published by Princeton University Press.

Previous Fellowships

Breathing Space: An Ecological History of Allergy in America

GlaxoSmithKline Fellowship, 2004–05