Prof. Samuel Kline Cohn (University of Glasgow)
Pandemics of hatred, pandemics of disease, from the Plague of Athens to AIDS
Wednesday 8th December 2010 5.30pm (Refreshments served from 5pm), Bedson Teaching Centre, Room 1.46, Newcastle University
The lecture will outline several aspects of a new Wellcome project. By surveying pandemics from antiquity to the present, this project will chart the socio-psychological consequences of pandemics from antiquity to the present. It will challenge common assumptions usually based on single pandemics and often within a particular place and time–the Black Death, 1347-52, plague in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, cholera in 1832, AIDS in the 1970s and 1980s—that pandemics and mass mortality sparked waves of hatred. It will be comparative over time, place, and disease in an effort to explain, for instance, why cholera continued to spark class hatred and riots from its first appearance in the West to as late as 1912, while yellow fever did not, even though its symptoms were as gruesome, its transmission and pathology took longer to discover, its victims centred more on the poor and recent immigrants and its mortality rates could soar as high as 70 percent.
A PYBUS SEMINAR IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE, Sponsored by the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine and supported by the Wellcome Trust. For further details email Laura Cresser