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Humanities Speaker Series 2021: Welcome!


The Humanities Speaker Series of 2021 will focus on historical plagues and their connections to today's pandemic, COVID-19. This guide provides details about the virtual sessions, as well as sources that dive deeper into each session's topic. Some are accessible with one click, while others might require you to login with your Atlas credentials. Contact Librarian Ciara Hensley at if you need help accessing any of the sources. For questions about the series, please contact Dr. George Brooks at

Virtual Speaker Sessions

1. “The Plague of Justinian”

Featuring Dr. Merle Eisenberg

Wednesday, September 29 | 7 PM EST

Link to Zoom Session Password: 765380 

2. “The London Plague of 1665”

Featuring Dr. Carole Reeves 

Wednesday, October 13 | 6 PM EST

Link to Zoom Session Password: 655741

3. “How to Live on A Planet of Viruses

Featuring Dr. Carl Zimmer

Wednesday, November 10 | 7 PM EST

Link to Zoom Session Password: 203709

Plague Resources (eBooks, Videos, Articles, and More)


  • Fire and Fever: London 1665-1666
    • "The first half of this video, set in 1665, a live actor uses vivid descriptions by period character Dr. Nathaniel Hodges, and readings from Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, to show a society stretched to its limits by raging disease. Superstitions surrounding the disease are discussed, along with the social and political factors that contributed to its onset and spread.."
  • "Threats from the Coronavirus, Lessons from the Plague" by Larry Dossey
    • Article comparing COVID-19 to the London Plague of 1665


"A Planet of Viruses - Carl Zimmer" | Interview with the author

"Viral Time | Carl Zimmer"  |  "'Viral Time' was given on June 07, 2011 as part of Long Now's Seminar build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking from some of the world's leading thinkers."