From Healthscaping to Disease Tracing: Plague and Public Health After the Black Death
Abigail Agresta, George Washington University
June 18, 2020 · 1:30 pm—3:00 pm · via Zoom – Registration Required
Program in Medieval Studies; Climate Change and History Research Initiative; Humanities Council
Pandemics in the Past: from Prehistory to (almost) the Present
This talk will discuss the development of plague-focused public health measures over the course of the fifteenth century, as urban governments adapted to what was no longer a new disease. Recent scholarship has shown that at the time of the Black Death urban public health measures were primarily hygienic: designed to create an environment conducive to human health. By the outbreaks of the later fifteenth century, however, medieval city governments began to employ plague measures concerned less with hygiene than with human movement. As municipal responses to plague became more sophisticated, in other words, they came to have less to do with creating a healthful environment.
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