Campus News - January 28, 2002
Institute offers seminars on plagues
Variety of scholars share observations at Medieval Studies event
UNM's Institute for Medieval Studies will feature a weekend of free seminars,
Plagues of the Middle Ages, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2 in Anthropology
The seminar will include a series of lectures by history and medical professors
who will examine the plague in all its aspects - social, economic, environmental
The topic is especially relevant to the UNM community because New Mexico continues
to suffer from outbreaks of forms of the medieval plagues including the bubonic
plague and the Hantavirus.
The Black Death is one topic that fascinates the public. In the space of about
a year, 1348-'49, one-third to one-half of Europes entire population was
wiped out. The scale of the plagues impact and its precise character remain
points of debate and research.
Scholars have attributed to the plague a serious impact on medieval art, literature
and scientific inquiry, as well as fundamental changes in ideas about life,
death and mans relationship to God. The economic dislocation alone played
a significant role in undermining the ordered society of the medieval world.
For many scholars, in fact, the Black Death stands as the dividing line between
the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Plagues in the Middle Ages engage an array of topics in the humanities. During
the seminar, scientists and humanities scholars will be able to directly exchange
ideas and observations about the impact of the plague - economic, physical and
Friday, Feb. 1
The Biology of the Plague: Definitions and Parameters, William P. Reed, UNM School of Medicine
Before the Black Death: Famine and Resistance in Medieval Northern Europe, William C. Jordan, Dept. of History Princeton University
Saturday, Feb. 2
Iconographic Images of the Plague, David A. Bennahum, UNM School of Medicine
God and the Animals: Northern Europe in the Early Fourteenth Century, William C. Jordan, Dept. of History Princeton University, (includes a brief musical demonstration)
|11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.||
Living with Plague: Medical, Governmental and Popular Responses to the Black Death in Italy, Shona Kelly Wray, University of Missouri-Kansas City
|12:30 p.m. 2 p.m.||
Plague and the Medical Doctor: Helpless and Hopeless? Peter Murray Jones, Kings College, Cambridge University, UK
The Plague and Other Plagues in Contemporary New Mexico: Causes, Transmission, Treatments. A Panel Discussion with Gregory J. Mertz, Moderator, Brian Hjelle and Darwin Palmer
The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Offices of the Associate Provost for Research and the Vice President for Health Sciences are sponsors of this event. The Institute for Medieval Studies is under the aegis of the College of Arts and Sciences.
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