Elizabeth Outka on the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919

In an episode that is unfortunately too timely, One True Podcast welcomes Elizabeth Outka to discuss the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, writers' responses to it, and the way it compares to our current experience with COVID-19.

Dr. Outka discusses Hemingway’s engagement with the so-called “Spanish influenza” (in works like "A Natural History of the Dead") as well as modernism’s broader depiction of the worldwide devastation that ensued. The interview touches on Katherine Anne Porter, T.S. Eliot, Willa Cather, and others. As she does in her book Viral Modernism, Outka offers an insightful perspective that combines literary and historical analysis with scientific knowledge.

The episode was recorded on May 20th, 2020.