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Plagues and Pandemics in World History: A Series of Historical Conversations

"Covid-19 has prompted many within the History Department to reflect on what our own areas of research can tell us about our current predicament. This series, Plagues & Pandemics in World History, is our collaborative effort to thoughtfully reflect upon the range of human responses to plagues (contagious bacterial diseases) and to pandemics (disease that spreads across a large region), over both time and space. Our discussions span - to name just a few examples - plagues in medieval Europe, Yellow Fever in Antebellum Louisiana and HIV-AIDS in contemporary South Africa. We trace the core debates that have emerged at different historical and geographical junctures, including the tension between popular opinion and scientific expertise, the emergence of new forms of social capital linked to immunity, and the economic and material implications of bodily hardship."  

April 15, 2020 - Plagues Past: Reflecting on Premodern Epidemics and Society - A Roundtable Discussion

Prof. Fiona Griffiths

Prof. Mark Lewis

Dr. Ruth MacKay, author of Life in the Time of Pestilence: The Great Castilian Plague of 1556-1601 (Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Prof. Walter Scheidel

Prof. Paula Findlen, Moderator

April 29, 2020 - The Stranger's Disease: Yellow Fever, Immunity and Belonging in Early America?

Prof. Kathryn Olivarius

Prof. Mikael Wolfe, Moderator

May 13, 2020 - Race, Health and A New Rise of Sinophobia: Historical Perspectives

Prof. Gordon H, Chang

Dr. William Gow

Prof. Joel Cabrita, Moderator

May 27, 2020 - "The'Spanish' Flu Pandemic of 1918-19: Perspectives from Europe, the Middle East, and Latin Anerica"

Dr. Gil-li Vardi

Prof. Mikael Wolfe

Dr. Adrien Zakar

Prof, Zephyr Frank, Moderator