The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Host Kyle Falcon sits down with his guests to discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, five people were killed and another seventeen were injured from anthrax spores as part of a deliberate attack against members of the US media and Senate. Fears quickly spread that this was another incident of Islamic terrorism. As part of the US-led War on Terror, large sums of money and resources were mobilized in the name of biodefense and security, altering the ways in which medicine was practised on a domestic and global scale. However, it was quickly concluded that these spores originated in US labs, and the prime suspects were white male American scientists. In this episode, Professor Gwen D’Arcangelis observes how the anthrax scare and the current COVID-19 pandemic are part of a broader and ongoing history of American bio-imperialism. 

GWEN D’ARCANGELIS is associate professor of Gender Studies at Skidmore College. Her scholarship centers on the socio-political dimensions of science, medicine, and public health. She has written articles on discourses of white scientific masculinity, gendered and Orientalist disease tropes, and nurse activism during the war on terror. Her newly released book, Bio-Imperialism: Disease, Terror, and the Construction of National Fragility, examines the gendered, raced, and imperial dimensions of U.S. focus on bioterror and germ threats.

Past Episodes

E38 | Disaster in Halifax, 1917 with Roger Sarty

E37 | Reclaiming Canada’s Second World War with Tim Cook

E36 | The Black Watch Snipers with David O’Keefe

Special | Edward Cecil-Smith and the Spanish Civil War with Tyler Wentzell

E35 | Writing Public History with Tim Cook

Special | War Junk with Alex Souchen

E34 | The Medic’s Tale with Ted Barris

E33 | Voicing Dissent during the First World War with Geoff Keelan

E32 | The American Civil War: Under the Knife with Shauna Devine

E31 | Haunted by Hitler with Robert Teigrob

E30 | Malplaquet: The Myth of Decisive Battle with Darryl Dee

E29 | Making a Historian with Roger Sarty

E28 | The Society of the Righteous and Harmonious Fists with Blaine Chiasson

E27 | Assault on the Winter Line with Terry Copp

E26 | Nazis, Canadian Jews and the Second World War with Ellin Bessner

E25 | Ted Barris and the Dam Busters

Special | D-Day in 14 Stories with Elliot Halpern

E24 | Ambitions Unrealized with Linda Quiney

E23 | Stalin’s Gulag with Wilson Bell

E22 | Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

E21 | Rural Canada at War with Jonathan Vance

E20 | Uncovering the Secret History of Soldiers with Tim Cook

E19 | How to Write 7,000 Words in a Week with Tim Cook

E18 | Why Military Families Matter, Part II with Geoffrey Hayes

E17 | Why Military Families Matter, Part I with Geoffrey Hayes

E16 | Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II with Amy Milne-Smith

E15 | Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part I with Amy Milne-Smith

E14 | Rewriting the Great War with Mark Humprhies

E13 | Family at the Front with Kristine Alexander

E12 | A Microhistory of an Ace with Graham Broad

E11 | Civil War and Identity with Alec Maavara

E10 | Destruction and Dissent in the Marshall Islands with Martha Smith-Norris

E09 | Treating Wounds of the Mind with Meghan Fitzpatrick

E08 | In Search of the Canadian Officer with Geoff Hayes

E07 | The Conscripted with Patrick Dennis

E06 | Dunkirk with Terry Copp

E05 | Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap? with Geoff Hayes

E04 | Canada’s Arctic Laboratory with Matthew Wiseman

E03 | Complicating History with Mary Chaktsiris

E02 | Somewhere Between War and Society with Terry Copp

E01 | The War Junk Historian with Alex Souchen