University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Neoliberal Ebola: The agroeconomics of a deadly spillover. A talk by Robert G. Wallace, October 13, 2014

Neoliberal Ebola: The agroeconomics of a deadly spillover

Monday, October 13, 2014, at Noon
Carlson School of Management, rm 1-149

A talk by Robert G. Wallace, Visiting Scholar, Institute for Global Studies

Download: audio, small video, or original.


Download: audio, small video, or original.

The first human outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, and by far the largest and most extensive recorded to date anywhere, began in forest villages across four districts in southeastern Guinea as early as December 2013. Understandably much attention has been placed upon the lethargy of the world’s response to the outbreak as well as the role a broadly painted ‘poverty’ has played in the pathogen’s spread and case fatality rate. Some work has focused on the local deforestation, dedevelopment, population mobility, periurbanization, and inadequate health system that apparently smoothed Ebola’s ecophylogentic transition.

But we can situate these diverse possibilities within a broader framework that unifies Ebola’s origins and its failure of containment. The neoliberal policies that truncated regional medical infrastructure also redirected forest development, resetting multispecies agroecologies, including perhaps between frugivore bats, a documented Ebola reservoir, and partially proletarianized pickers of increasingly commoditized oil palm.

Cosponsored with the IAS Agrifood Collaborative and the Institute for Global Studies. For more information, contact Rachel Schurman at Wallace has also been interviewed by the Bat of Minerva.
neoliberal ebola agrifood

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts


  1. Web Roundup: Ebola Update | SomatosphereOctober 23, 2014 at 9:05 pmReply

    […] Ebola, the environment, Palm Oil agribusiness, and shifts in human-animal relationships (also “Neoliberal Ebola: The agroeconomics of a deadly spillover”). Similar parallels are drawn between the virus, politics, economics, and ecology in the PLOS NTDs […]

  2. MaxOctober 21, 2014 at 2:17 amReply

    A very interesting lecture!

    Greetings from FInland

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *