August 2015

Teaching the New Paradigm in Black Death Studies

[caption id="attachment_1310" align="alignright" width="198"] Figure 1: Cover image, The Medieval Globe, vol. 1: Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death.[/caption] In November 2014, I and seventeen colleagues published a collection of essays in the inaugural issue of The Medieval Globe [fig. 1]. We sought to address a simple question: how could we—how should we—reconceive the Black Death in light of the new understanding of plague’s history that has emerged out of research in genetics over the past decade and a half? Since 1998, research in microbiology, and particularly molecular genetics, had seen three great achievements: in 2001,...

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