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St. Bonaventure University

Jandoli Institute examines whether history can predict the future

Aug 12, 2022

A new Jandoli Institute research essay explores whether the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will be similar to the Roaring Twenties that emerged after the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The essay, “Hashtag History: Imaging the Future — Reinventing the Past,” was reported and written for the institute’s Hybrid Journalism Project by Phillip G. Payne, a history professor at St. Bonaventure University; Anne W. Lee, a lecturer in St. Bonaventure’s Jandoli School of Communication; and Hadley Thompson, who is majoring in journalism and political science at the university.

The authors used a variety of articles and examples to provide insight into using history to predict the future, as well as the difficulties of determining the cause of complex events.

“As we wind our way through the 2020s, we can still learn some lessons from a century ago, but the lesson will be a complex one,” the essay reads. “Some of the issues that plagued America during the 1920s continue to plague us in the 2020s, and that is not simply the drawn-out end to the pandemic.”

The article is part of a series of essays produced for the Jandoli Institute’s Hybrid Journalism Project in which professors from different disciplines partner with faculty from the Jandoli School to develop and produce news stories.

“The goal of the project is for the non-journalism faculty to gain insight into our industry and for the journalism faculty to learn how those with knowledge and expertise in different fields can strengthen our reporting,” Jandoli Institute Executive Director Richard Lee said.

The project is funded by a grant from the Leo E. Keenan Jr. Faculty Development Endowment.

The Jandoli Institute, a part of the Jandoli School of Communication, serves as a forum for academic research, creative ideas and discussion on the intersection between media and democracy.