Profile: Amy Patterson - Professor of Politics

Amy Patterson - Professor of Politics

Amy S. Patterson is the Carl Gustav Biehl Professor of International Affairs at the University of the South, Tennessee, USA. She is author of The Politics of AIDS in Africa, The Church and AIDS in Africa, Dependent Agency in the Global Health Regime (with Emma-Louise Anderson), and Africa and Global Health Governance: Domestic Politics and International Structures. (Both books won the ISA Global Health Section Best Book Award on separate occasions.) She has published articles on AIDS, civil society, religion, and gender in Africa in African Affairs, Africa Today, Journal of Modern African Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, African Journal of AIDS Research, Global Public Health, Contemporary Politics, and the African Studies Review. In 2019-2020, she lived in Tanzania as a Fulbright Scholar, researching policies and societal responses to mental health disorders. She teaches courses on African politics, global health governance, international development, and the politics of AIDS.

Amy Patterson's COVID-19 Diary

31 Dec 2020 : Lessons on the last day of 2020

It’s the evening of 31 December 2020, and I am grateful that this year is almost over.  Newspapers, podcasts, etc. are collecting people’s impressions from the year—“lessons learned.” In one Washington Post entry yesterday (30 December 2020), the writer humorously wrote that she had learned that “nine times out of ...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

03 Nov 2020 : Voting in a pandemic

Today, I did what I think is the most important thing I could do for my country at this point in history. No, not paying my taxes, or following the law, or teaching young people, or raising children to follow the law. Yes, I've done those things, and I'm too old to serve in the military. Rather, I stood in line for 90 minutes with people in my small Tenne...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

17 Oct 2020 : Week 9 and Hanging On

Never have I been so tired teaching! At my small residential university in rural Tennessee (University of the South- Sewanee), we decided to have all students (1,600) return to campus to begin our 14-week semester on August 17. We gave students the remote option too—which about 10% took. Part of the deal, though, is that on-campus students must stay...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

11 Aug 2020 : Just keep your head down!

A few weeks ago I had to have a minor eye surgery. The choice was surgery in a pandemic or no vision, so being someone who has to read a lot, I took a chance and opted for the former. Anyway, after the surgery, I was told to keep my head down for 24 hours. “Just look down at the floor as much as you can.” The 24 hours then became about 4 days,...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

01 Jun 2020 : Reading The Plague in a plague

This is one of those things people shouldn’t do--read some depressing literature during an economic downturn and a pandemic. But given some extra time on my hands, I decided to read Albert Camus’s The Plague (1948), one of those books that I just had never gotten around to reading.  Doing so has been a surreal experience. It is uncanny ho...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

31 May 2020 : The Covid Task Force & Citizenship

Most Americans know about the president’s COVID task force, a body set up by President Trump to provide Americans with timely advice about the pandemic and to make decisions about a response. It was supposed to be headed by Vice President Pence, but Trump clearly dominates. Yet, very few people know about my university’s “task force&rdq...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

23 May 2020 : Mourning the lack of leadership

Tonight at dinner, my husband, two daughters, and I went through what now has become the usual evening conversation about politics and COVID. (We all read and think too much.) It was a day or two after President Trump visited Ford Motor Company in Detroit, a city hard-hit by the virus in a state (Michigan) where people with guns have marched on the capita...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

24 Apr 2020 : Lysol & the Devil: Is the Enlightenment Dead?

Yesterday (April 23, 2020), President Trump again interjected his own version of science into the daily government briefings on COVID in the US. He asked if it would be possible to “inject” some “disinfectant” into the lungs of COVID victims. He also recommended sunlight as a preventative measure and/or treatment, in response to a ...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

10 Apr 2020 : US racial disparities and COVID

We know that health disparities are rampant in the United States. Rates of maternal mortality, pre-term births, hypertension, and diabetes are all higher among African Americans, even controlling for education and income levels. Native Americans face high rates of alcoholism, violence, and drug addiction, while Latinos face rising rates of diabetes. So ma...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

09 Apr 2020 : Funerals

I have been thinking about funerals, given the high mortality rates in some countries and/or regions from coronavirus. More specifically, I have been thinking about the many discourses around funerals. From the public health angle, they are an environment in which a virus like corona can easily spread. A few stories from some small towns in US southern st...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

07 Apr 2020 : The Queen (from an American's view)

I have never been one of those Americans infatuated with the Royal Family. As a child, I remember my mother staying up half the night to watch Diana marry Prince Charles. I thought how ridiculous she was. Now from a political science angle, I get the idea of a head of state who symbolizes the nation, provides continuity with tradition, reminds the people ...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

29 Mar 2020 : Easter? April 30? What's a crowd?

A beautiful day on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau. I should go for a morning run... that's allowed for those of us who were international travellers and must self-isolate. In my small town of 1500 (it is 3000 when the students are here),  it is likely that I might encounter someone I know when out.  But people are good about switching to the o...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

28 Mar 2020 : Returned home to craziness

By February, things were looking up; it had taken a long time to get my research clearance, residency permit, research really going on my 10 month Fulbright grant in Tanzania.  My daughter had finally made some friends at school; we had settled in. I was studying societal and policy responses to mental health and Tanzania, and interviews were finally...  Read this >>

Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics

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