Lazarus does not have the plague!

I get it. We would all like to have more illustrations of the plague. It is hard to fathom how a horrific event like the Black Death has left so few bonafide illustrations. Misidentified illustrations do not solve the problem; they compound the confusion. Three images commonly used to illustrate the Black Death have been proven misidentifications;... Continue Reading →

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Disease and Discrimination in Colonial Atlantic America

Reviewed by Michelle Ziegler Dale Hutchinson. Disease and Discrimination: Poverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America. University of Florida Press, 2016. $85 Dale Hutchinson's latest book fits into a recent trend of a more critical analysis of the role disease played in the demographic collapse of Native Americans in the Colonial period. After spending most of... Continue Reading →

CFP: Contagions sessions at the International Congress for Medieval Studies 2018

by Michelle Ziegler Contagions: The Society for Historic Infectious Disease Studies has been given the opportunity of organizing three sessions at next year's International Congress for Medieval Studies. This is the equivalent of a full day at the Congress. The Congress will be held from May 10 to May 13, 2018, at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo... Continue Reading →

Roundtable on Campbell’s Climate, Disease, and Society in the Late Medieval World

by Michelle Ziegler Bruce Campbell. The Great Transition: Climate, Disease, and Society in the Late Medieval World. Cambridge University Press, 2016. When I first learned that Bruce Campbell was working on this book, I wondered if it would be the first grand synthesis of the new paradigm. Although there have been some very good regional... Continue Reading →

Medieval Historians Taking Genomics into Account

At the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo (Kzoo) last month, I couldn't help feeling that we have reached a turning point. I went to four sessions that engaged in genomics, human and/or bacterial, in some way. Granted, these are a tiny proportion of the 500+ sessions offered, but I have learned that if you... Continue Reading →

The Case for Louse-Transmitted Plague

by Michelle Ziegler The key to understanding plague -- past, present, and future -- has always been understanding its vector dynamics. By the latest tally, there are 269 known flea species, plus a small collection of ticks and lice, that can be infected with Yersinia pestis. With this many infected parasites, it's not a surprise that... Continue Reading →

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