Alexandre White, Associate Director

Alexandre White is a Provost’s Post-Doctoral Fellow in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his PhD in Sociology from Boston University, an MSc. in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. in Black Studies from Amherst College. His work sits at the intersection of global health research, medical sociology, and comparative historical sociology. His work examines the social effects of infectious epidemic outbreaks in both historical and contemporary settings as well as the global mechanisms that produce responses to outbreak. His book project, Epidemic Orientalism: A Social History of International Disease Response, explores the historical roots of international responses to epidemic threats and examines how the risk of epidemic outbreak is determined as well as what sort of threats trigger responses and interventions from the World Health Organization (WHO). By examining how and why some diseases receive more significant resources and attention from global health actors, and ultimately the nations experiencing outbreak, this book aims to provide a valuable contribution to our understanding of the social construction of disease and illness and the modes through which specific diseases are confronted by the global health community.

Alexandre’s published work has demonstrated how differences in the perceived threat of deadly diseases have provoked anomalous responses to outbreaks. Global Risks, Divergent Pandemics: Contrasting Responses To Bubonic Plague And Smallpox In 1901 Cape Town, in Social Science History, explores two simultaneous epidemics that, despite similar pathologies, prompted significantly varying responses from public health actors in 1901 Cape Town: the bubonic plague and smallpox. Forthcoming works include a co-authored analysis of the sociological scholarship on global health as well as network analyses on the epistemologies of the field of HIV/AIDS research.