International Seminar on

Reflections on the Centennial of the 1918 Spanish Influenza Virus

Madrid, Spain, 27-29 November 2017

Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences 

Spanish National Research Council

This seminar is organized by the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography, the Spanish National Research Council (Spain) Fogarty IC/National Institutes of Health (U.S.), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain).

Organizing Committee:

Diego Ramiro (CSIC), Cecile Viboud (NIH/FIC), Gerardo Chowell (Georgia State U & FIC), Lone Simonsen (University of Copenhagen), Esteban Rodríguez Ocaña (University of Granada), María Isabel Porras Gallo (University of Castilla-La Mancha), Beatríz Echeverry Dávila, Rafael Huertas (CSIC) and Ricardo Campos (CSIC).


The seminar will be held in English.


Download the Call for Papers in pdf. 



Deadline for submissions extended to 30 June 2017

The study of infectious disease and mortality lies within the core of research agendas of different scientific fields, from life sciences to historical demography. Among infectious diseases, influenza remains at the center of the debate on international health. Concerns about the appearance of new influenza pandemics make the study of this disease a crucial research area. The upcoming centenary of the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic offers a timely opportunity for an IUSSP scientific meeting to take stock of the state of what has been learned from 1918 and in the ensuing century and to include the considerable ongoing work on the evolution, dynamics and impact of influenza pandemic.  We aim to connect the research agenda of the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography to the work carried out by contemporary demographers and epidemiologists, and we welcome papers approaching the study of influenza and influenza pandemics through different perspectives and research methods.    


We invite papers that investigates topics such as: influenza age mortality patterns and transmission dynamics over space and time, urban/rural disparities in flu mortality, influenza mortality and urban development, newly uncovered archival datasets, preservation and access to historic records, examinations of evidence of early pandemic waves, and studies that characterize patterns of the spread and impact of 1918 pandemic on general and military populations.  We hope to create a programme that will explore both what is known about the 1918 pandemic and other pandemics of the last centuries as well as unresolved mysteries that still need investigation. We welcome papers addressing a wide spectrum of historical eras and global settings from early pandemics to the present day. Furthermore, we invite contributions from a variety of perspectives including but not limited to the impact of early influenza exposure on lifelong outcomes including economic and cognitive prospects in adulthood in birth cohorts, ‘immune imprinting’ and ‘immune landscape,’ and the role of bacterial co-infections. We especially favour submissions with a strong focus on historical pandemics, age-cohort/longitudinal analyses that examine spatial details of pandemics diffusion, and studies that shed light on the role of other sociodemographic and economics factors on influenza diffusion and impact.


Online Submissions:

The IUSSP Panel on Historical Demography invites researchers to submit online by 30 June 2017 a short 200-word abstract AND an extended abstract (2 to 4 pages, including tables) or a full unpublished paper for consideration. To submit an abstract please fill out the online submission form here: ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM.

Both short and detailed abstracts must be submitted in English. The working language of the meeting is English, and presentations and final papers must be in English.


Submission should be made by the author who will attend the seminar. If the paper is co-authored, please include the names of your co-authors in your submission form (in the appropriate order).


  • Applicants will be informed whether their paper is accepted by 30 June 2017.
  • Participants must submit their complete paper by 1 November 2017. 

In addition to dissemination through posting on the member-restricted portion of the IUSSP website, seminar organizers will explore possibilities for publishing the papers as an edited volume or a special issue of a journal. Papers submitted should be unpublished and, as for a journal or an edited book, authors, by submitting a paper, agree they will not propose it for publication to another editor until the committee makes a decision with regard to its possible publication.


Current funding for the seminar is limited. All participants will need to cover their own travel costs. If available, funding would pay only for meals and accommodation, and would be restricted to IUSSP members in good standing with priority for participants from less wealthy nations. Funding would also be contingent upon submission of a complete paper of acceptable quality by the deadline for papers.


For further information, please contact: Diego Ramiro (


IUSSP Scientific Panel on Historical Demography

Chair: Diego Ramiro Fariñas (Spanish National Research Council)

Membership: Martin Dribe (Lund University, Center for Economic Demography); Mamadou Fall (Cheikh Anta Diop University); Rokhaya Fall (Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar); Satomi Kurosu (Reitaku University); Lucia Pozzi (Università degli Studi Di Sassari); Alice Reid (University of Cambridge); Ana Silvia Scott (Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)); Hélène Vézina (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi).