The Rock Island Public Library presents the Virtual Frieze Lecture Series: Global Crises -- October 20 and 27.

Tuesday, October 20, and Tuesday, October 27, 2 p.m.

Presented by the Rock Island Public Library

A pair of global health crises – one past, one present – will be the focus of this year's October 20 and 27 presentations in the annual Frieze Lecture Series, with the Rock Island Public Library hosting informative, insightful, and illuminating virtual programs delivered by lauded professors at Augustana College.

On October 20, the first of the two presentations in the Virtual Frieze Lecture Series is titled Why We Forgot the 1918 Flu: A Historian Looks at a Century of Pandemics. In it, Dr. Lendol Calder, professor of history at Augustana, will consider the global influenza pandemic of 1918 and America's response to it, as well as the legacy that tragedy has, and hasn't, shaped responses to subsequent public-health emergencies. A native of Texas, Calder received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1980, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Calder's 1999 book Financing the American Dream: A Cultural History of Consumer Credit was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “deliciously seditious,” and as an accomplished teacher, Calder is also a leader in the growing movement to bring scholarly modes of inquiry to teaching and learning in higher education. In 1999, he was chosen by the Carnegie Foundation to be a Fellow at the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and Calder's work as a Carnegie Scholar has made him a popular speaker, presenter, and consultant on topics related to historical thinking and the teaching of undergraduates.

The October 27 Frieze lecture, meanwhile, is Tip of the Iceberg: Understanding the Bigger Picture of Pandemic Disease Severity. This presentation will find Dr. Rebecca Heick, assistant professor of public health at Augustana, considering the reported rising death toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Heick will discuss how, although the number of deaths has become a major focus of media reports and intervention efforts, mortality is just the tip of the iceberg, with less-severe disease much more common and an important component of the bigger prevention picture. Having earned a B.A. in biology from Augustana, an M.S. in community health education from Western Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health from the University of Iowa, Heick has been a prominent source of advice and information throughout the COVID-19 era, participating in Q&A sessions on KWQC Channel 6, giving perspective on the importance of social distancing and how to break the chain of transmission, and the differences between COVID-19 and the flu.

Both 2 p.m. presentations in the October 20 and 27 Virtual Frieze Lecture Series are free and delivered via Zoom, with registration required to receive Zoom-link invitations. For more information, call (309)732-7323 or visit

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