Epidemic Histories and Pandemic Futures
Mitchell Hammond, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Victoria
The histories of infectious diseases and modern cities have always been intertwined. Not only do cities foster the spread of disease, narrative accounts of urban crises in locales such as London, Paris, and New York have framed our understanding of how diseases affect societies in general. While the ongoing coronavirus crisis underscores the importance of cities, its widespread impact also poses a challenge for responses that are rooted in local environments and relationships. Global travel, technologies that collapse physical distance, and new forms of urbanization will shift the relationship of disease and cities in a new ‘pandemic era.