Plague history
Project Description

Carmichael has one historical plague paper in publication, another near submission stage, and another born from the collaboration with archaeogenomicists that will appear in Current Biology. Recent projects involves persons working to sequence COVID-19 strains and their temporal-geographical spread. Otherwise, Carmichael has done interviews and class or humanities presentations in Indiana, more specifically related to the ongoing pandemic.

Translational Perspective

Plague is one of the go-to historical contexts for many journalists, many websites, and many humanities-oriented essays, podcasts, and Zoom presentations, despite little biomedical justification for such association. Thus many of the issues in plague history relate instead to the humanities--the uses of masking or protective gear; the experience of persons held in close, confined quarters for months on end; the priorities and tradeoffs of authorities; the fears and responses of health workers; the deployment of small armies of plague-time workers, most of whom were poorly paid and viewed as expendable; and, last, the fears expressed by eyewitnesses, and how their fears change over time. We have to know how to see what is relevant about earlier pandemics that have little direct connection to the national and global frameworks defining our current pandemic.

Humanities Influences
Contact Infomation: First name
Contact Information: Last name
Contact Information: Position title
Assoc Prof, Emerita
Contact Information: Institutional affiliation
Indiana University
Contact Information: Email address
carmicha [at]

Bloomington, Indiana, USA