Yale historian Frank Snowden has long been fascinated by the ways epidemics hold up a “mirror” to the social, cultural, and political conditions in which they arise. His most recent book, “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present,” published by Yale University Press in 2019, is the result of 40 years of research on the topic.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Snowden, who is the Andrew Downey Orrick Professor Emeritus of History, has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal for his historical expertise. He recently spoke to YaleNews from Rome, where he had traveled for research before the outbreak began. His current research in a Vatican archive is now on hold due to the global coronavirus outbreak. Interview edited and condensed.
To read the interview click here.