Plagues, Epidemics, Peculiar Beliefs and Practices through Time: Delving into Primary Sources

Sponsored by ProQuest
Recorded on 06/09/2020

Posted in Primary Sources and Special Collections


Join ProQuest for this time machine webinar to explore the history of pandemics, behaviors around disease and how they relate to beliefs and myth creation. French social anthropologist Laetitia Atlani-Duault and ProQuest’s team of anthropologists will discuss the value of primary sources to explore such questions as:

  • How have societies evolved in response to the Black Death, Spanish Flu and HIV?
  • Have the ways we respond to and make sense of epidemics changed over time?
  • Based on what we can observe about the past, how will COVID-19 impact the way we live going forward?

Laetitia Atlani-Duault will share her work and experience as a teacher and researcher at Columbia University and as a member of a French scientific council for public health and decision-making related to COVID-19.

Our speakers will discuss primary sources critical to the study of these topics, including historical books, government documents, first-hand accounts of historical events, maps, documentaries and more. Topics will include social distancing, the evolving understanding how disease spreads and various forms the fear of disease have taken.

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Laetitia Atlani-Duault
Adjunct Professor
Health Policy and Management, Columbia University

Prof. Laëtitia Atlani-Duault is a French social anthropologist. She is a full, tenured Research Professor at CEPED (IRD, University of Paris), and the Scientific Director of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. She is a recipient of the CNRS medal for research excellence, awarded by France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and is regularly invited as Visiting Professor in North America and Europe. Her work focuses on critical analysis of the politics and practices of humanitarian aid on both the local and international levels. Her publications include a number of books and edited special journal issues, and her articles have appeared in English and French in journals such as The Lancet, Social Science and MedicineThe Lancet Infectious DiseasesCulture, Medicine and PsychiatryTranscultural PsychiatryMedical AnthropologyPublic Understanding of Science; and Ethnologie Française. She recently served in NYC as Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs at the UN headquarters (2012-2015), Senior Human Rights Fellow at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute (2012-2015), and Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (2015-2017). In 2018, the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (FMSH) announced her appointment as the Director of the Collège d’études mondiales, Paris and, in 2019, Laëtitia became the Scientific Director of the FMSH, supervising its Research Department. In March 2020, she was appointed by the French government as a member of the COVID19 Scientific Council, French government’s unprecedented scientific response to the pandemic.

Farhana Hoque
Senior Product Manager
Early Modern Books

Farhana Hoque is a senior product manager of Early Modern Books (1450-1700), and USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive and a PhD candidate in social and medical anthropology at University College London.

Samantha Lubrano
Associate Product Manager

Samantha Lubrano is an Associate Product Manager at ProQuest working on history and social science primary source databases. She has a background in anthropology with an M.S. in Human Paleobiology from George Washington University. Her past research includes analyzing trends within human and primate evolution and developing new qualitative methods to investigate these trends. At ProQuest, she helps discover and curate content to aid faculty, students, and scholars with their studies and research.