About the Author

Benjamin Brendel

E-Mail: Benjamin.Brendel@uni-marburg.de

Benjamin Brendel is a postdoc in History at the Philipps University Marburg. Brendel teaches History in the German, US-American and Spanish context. He studied at universities in Tübingen, Cork and Freiburg and did his PhD in Giessen. He has published various articles and volumes. While his first book is a global history of dams and analyzes their powerful impact in the USA, Spain and Egypt between the 1930s and 1970s, his second book project focuses on the pesticides in Germany between 1880 and 1990. In particular, it deals with the security dilemma between food production and the fight against infectious diseases on the one hand and the health-threatening impact of pesticides on the other.

Contributions by Author: Benjamin Brendel

Editorial: Illness, Narrated

Stay healthy, stay safe. The new closing remark to many emails, phone calls and conversations is telling of a radical change in the perception of illness that took place during 2020/2021. Living and working through the COVID-19 pandemic have given a new urgency to the commonplace phrase, adding weight to an offhand farewell. This new signature does more than wish the other well; it also acknowledges a communal present that affects everyone, from the individual to national societies and global relations. Health, and its precarious situation, has found its way into people’s homes, where incidences, virologists’ opinions and mutant forms are discussed over dinner. “Stay healthy” indicates our hopes for the other not to be infected; “stay safe” marks our hopes that they keep viral threats at bay. The realities of constantly being on a spectrum of health and illness has intruded on daily life and gone beyond conversations with medical professionals or intimates to become ‘the talk,’ a communal and shared present.