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Hennebach Lecture: Virus and Vector: Yellow Fever and Atlantic World Environmental History
November 6, 2019 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pmFree
Between the middle of the 17th century and the early 20th century, yellow fever raged throughout the Americas, killing huge numbers of people and transforming the geopolitics of the region. In the process, it came to be known as an “American plague,” and its successful eradication in Havana and then Panama became a stock chapter in heroic histories of American medicine.
But both the virus and its vector are of African origin, and the disease itself also has had both African and European histories. This lecture will offer a new narrative about yellow fever as an environmental agent that shaped the history of the Americas.
Paul Sutter teaches Modern U.S. History and Environmental History. He is the author of several books and articles on U.S. environmental history in the U.S. His current book project “Pulling the Teeth of the Tropics: Environment, Disease, Race, and the U.S. Sanitary Program in Panama, 1904-1914” is an environmental and public health history of the construction of the Panama Canal.