Disease and Landscape in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

with Lori Jones

hosted by Chris Gratien, Nir Shafir, and Andreas Guidi

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Genomic research is resolving old questions about the history of plague, revealing, for example, that the Black Death was caused by the same species of plague that exists today and demonstrating the complex ways in which plague moved throughout the medieval and early modern world. Yet even as scientific methods today shed light on the history of plague, past understandings and depictions of disease remain both highly relevant and ignored. In this episode, we chat with Lori Jones about early modern European views of plague and explore the relationship between disease, landscape, and geography within the European imagination. We talk about the origins of environmental understandings of disease and how plague became increasingly associated with eastern and southern locales such as the Ottoman Empire and Southern Europe. We also have a separate conversation (beginning at 32:30) about the misuse of medieval images concerning disease and medicine in the 21st century as digital media facilitate both the spread and disembodiment of historical images. 

Colonialism and the Politics of Identity in Morocco

with Jonathan Wyrtzen

hosted by Chris Gratien

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In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa, European colonial rule lasted only for a matter of decades, and yet its influence in the realms of politics and economy have been profound. In this episode, we talk to Jonathan Wyrtzen about the legacy of colonialism in Morocco for the politics of identity, which is the subject of his new book entitled Making Morocco. As Dr. Wyrzten explains, colonial rule shaped understandings of issues such as territoriality, religion, ethnicity, and gender that remain relevant to this day.