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Epidemic Experts to Discuss ‘The Shape of Global Disease’ at Two-Day Conference

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Alumna and AIDS researcher Navid Madani and a dozen faculty members will discuss how the treatment of epidemics and disease connect to issues of race, gender and sexuality during the Feb, 24-25 “The Shape of Global Disease” program at Cal State Fullerton.

The interdisciplinary conference of epidemics investigates the intersection of human rights and global public health efforts, and prompts participants to learn from past epidemics and prepare for new challenges.

Madani’s mentor, Maria Linder, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will introduce the Harvard Medical School senior scientist. Madani ’90, ’92 (B.S. biochemistry, M.S. chemistry) credits Linder for sparking her love of science research, while working in Linder’s lab.

Madani’s plenary talk “35 years of HIV/AIDS: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Biology and Humanity” opens the conference shortly after a 9 a.m. welcome from organizers Margaret Garber and Andrea Patterson, associate professors of liberal studies.

Feb. 24 sessions will be held in Room 1308 of Steven G. Mihaylo Hall, and Feb. 25 sessions in Room 1406 of Mihaylo Hall. Sessions led by CSUF faculty members include panel talks and presentations by:

  • Jorge Fontdevila, associate professor of sociology — “Sexual Meanings and HIV Among Latino Gay and Bisexual Men”
  • Maria Soledad Ramirez, assistant professor of biological science — “Superbug: Evidence of Super-Fast Evolution. What Can We do?”
  • Parvin Shahrestani, assistant professor of biological science — “Evolution of Infection — Resistance in Large Populations”  
  • Joshua Yang, associate professor of health science — “Health in Modernity: Capitalism, Neoliberalism and Epidemics”
  • Terri Snyder, professor of American studies — “Was There an Epidemic of Slave Suicide? A Perspective From Eighteenth-Century British America.”
  • Eliza Noh, associate professor of Asian American studies — “Terror as Usual: The Role of the Model Minority Myth in Asian American Women’s Suicidality”
  • Jochen Burgtorf, professor of history — “Joining Hands Around the Grave: The ‘Dance of Death’ ”


The conference is supported by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Liberal Studies, the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine and a donation from Ronald E. Clapper, lecturer emeritus of liberal studies.

Registration is available on the day of the conference. For more information about the conference, contact Margaret Garber or Andrea Patterson.

Media Contacts:

Cerise Valenzuela Metzger, 657-278-3708
Chi-Chung Keung, 657-278-8487