Public health during the Civil War

Steve WildsmithBlount, Our Town Health

Jim Downs Ph.D. will give an online lecture at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, to students, faculty and staff members of Maryville College on the history of epidemiology, an event that is also open to members of the public.

Dr. Downs is a Gilder Lehrman-National Endowment for the Humanities professor of Civil War era studies and history at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The author and editor of seven books, the title of his lecture is borrowed from his most recent work, published last year – “Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery and War Transformed Medicine.”

Given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Downs’ presentation will allow students and members of the community to hear from an expert on the history of epidemiology and the development of public health, according to Dr. Phillip Sherman, associate professor of religion and chair of the Division of Humanities at Maryville College.

“His work on the history of epidemiology will highlight the importance of the humanities and natural sciences working together; focus on the term ‘medical humanities;’ and raise questions connected to a variety of timely issues such as medical racism and how epidemiology and public health developed historically,” Sherman said.

To join the lecture, email Wendy Specter here for a Zoom link. 

Steve Wildsmith is social media specialist at Maryville College.

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