Amherst, N. An excellent and detailed review of the global campaign to eliminate smallpox from the planet, including a good short history of the disease. Herring, Ann and Alan C. Wenner-Gren International Symposium Series. English ed. Oxford; New York: Berg, A good collection of current scholarly articles on several epidemic diseases, both historical and modern.
Honigsbaum, M. London: Macmillan, A detailed and scholarly account of the British experience during the pandemic. Later chapters provide a good summary of more recent encounters with the flu, and efforts to sequence the virus.
Hopkins, Donald R. Princes and Peasants: Smallpox in History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, An excellent survey of smallpox in human history, from ancient Egypt to modern day campaign to eradicate the disease. One of the best scholarly books on smallpox, with an extensive bibliography.
Hotez, Peter J. Bethony, David J.
Plagues and Epidemics
Diemert, Mark Pearson, and Alex Loukas. Share this link with a friend: Copied! Other Related Materials pages. What is a plague? How have scholars used the concept? Has anthropological research influenced thinking about plagues? Has the role of plagues in human societies been fetishized or under-theorized? How do plagues in the past influence how we think about plagues today? And in the future? We also addressed some of the structural correlates of plagues.
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Anthropologists and epidemiologists have developed methods and models for understanding plague in space and time, including evolutionary, demographic, social network, structural, and time series models. Epidemiological transition theory models human history as a set of stages in which the impact of infectious disease, and by implication plague, rises and falls in concert with predictable changes in human society.
Another perspective considers epidemics to be inevitable, normal features of human life in a dynamic ecosystem.
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Epidemics occur when the complex relationship between human populations and their social and physical environment is altered, disrupted, or conducive to the flourishing of micro-organisms. Under what circumstances do plagues occur?
Bloomsbury Collections - Plagues and Epidemics - Infected Spaces Past and Present
Are they events or processes? Do plagues refer exclusively to phenomena involving infectious microparasites? As students of the colonial process, anthropologists have written extensively about the role of diseases of European and African origin in the colonial and postcolonial histories of Indigenous communities worldwide.
Some questions participants addressed included: Have notions of Indigenous bodies been configured by ideas about virgin soil epidemics?
Have fantasies of primitivism and notions of hereditary weakness informed ideas about immunologically inexperienced and uncontaminated precontact bodies? Have conceptions of plague pathologized Indigenous people?
- Plagues and epidemics; infected spaces past and present..
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How have our views of Indigenous people been constructed through plague and conquest? What do we know about indigenous, precontact plagues?
As we wait for the next pandemic, discussions of the evolution of microorganisms, the transfer of pathogens from animal to human bodies, and the factors that contribute to human resistance and susceptibility have gained enormous significance. Yet the western preoccupation with avian flu and the threat of bioterrorism in many ways transcends the actual threat as perceived by many professional epidemiologists. In this conference we explored how models for plagues are constructed, how they are culturally specified and metaphorically sentimentalized. The participants at this conference broadly represented the subfields of anthropology as well as medical sociology, medical history, and history of science.
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