New York University Professor Ernest Gilman, author of Plague Writing in Early Modern England (University of Chicago Press, 2009), is available for comment on responses to epidemics.
Gilman, a professor in the Department of English and a specialist in the cultural history of medicine in the Renaissance, surveys a wide range of literary, medical, and political responses to the three epidemics of the bubonic plague that devastated 17th-century England.
Gilman argues that the 20th-century “triumph” of vaccines and antibiotics over afflictions such as TB and polio must now be understood as only a temporary remission in a long and tragic history of pandemic disease.
“At a moment when-as we see with the current swine flu alert-we face the threat of new outbreaks against which our arsenal of drugs is of diminishing effect,” Gilman observes, “we have much to learn from the history of the plague.”
In the age of AIDS, super viruses, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and the threat of a global flu pandemic, the work’s insights are relevant today.
Reporters interested in speaking with Gilman, director of NYU’s Summer in London program, should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.