Members, St. Louis Red Cross Motor Corps on duty on 5 ambulances. Influenza Epidemic. Missouri St. Louis. United States missouri st. louis, 1918. Photograph.

These U. S. historians cover topics that include epidemics, public health emergencies, disease, vaccination, pharmaceutical issues, the politics of health, and xenophobia and can provide perspective on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.


Leslie J. Reagan

Dangerous Pregnancies: How an Epidemic Pushed Forward Women's Reproductive Rights

Reagan chronicles for the first time the discoveries and dilemmas of the German Measles epidemic of the early 1960s and how it created national anxiety about dying, disabled, and “dangerous” babies. This epidemic would ultimately transform abortion politics, produce new science, and help build...(Read More)

Sharla M. Fett

Community, Calling, and Consciousness: Southern Black Midwifery and the Politics of Health

Between the 1850s and the 1950s, the changing political economy of Black birth shaped the way that African American midwives did their work. Enslaved midwives worked to deliver and preserve Black babies and mothers in the midst of the violence and commodification of chattel slavery. By the early...(Read More)

Susan M. Reverby

Brother Doc: An Unlikely Twentieth-Century American Revolutionary

Alan Berkman (1945-2009) was a world-renowned HIV/AIDS physician researcher/activist and only the second doctor in American history to be arrested for accessory to murder after the fact for his political work. This lecture traces his experiences from small town Eagle scout and boy genius into the...(Read More)

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