Of Plagues and Papers: COVID-19, the Media, and the Construction of American Disease History

In their attempts to make sense of the novel coronavirus, media outlets frequently invoke the past, comparing COVID-19 to the Black Death, the "Great Influenza" of 1918-19, and other historical disease outbreaks. The act of connecting "then" and "now" has produced two countervailing historical narratives: one that emphasizes medical progress over time, and another that highlights America's failure to learn the lessons of past pandemics.

Public History and Dark Tourism

This article looks at what it’s like to work at a dark tourism destination, in this case the Old Idaho Penitentiary. From a public history perspective, it details the challenges of practicing history responsibly, while also catering to visitor demand for paranormal programming such as macabre prison stories. Ultimately, lucrative paranormal investigations allow for more historically based, educational programming that may not be as popular, but fulfills the site’s mission of informing the public of Idaho and prison history.

HUMN 222: Black Humanities: The New York Times 1619 Project

HUMN 222 takes on The New York Times challenge to reframe American history, to consider the possibility that the origin of this country can be traced to 1619, the year that marks the arrival of the first Africans (from the land that would become Angola) to the land that would become America in all its defining contradictions.

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