The History of Vaccines: How the World Learned Not to Go Viral (Online)
Taught by Patty Hamrick
Patty Hamrick has an M.A. in Archaeological Anthropology from New York University. She has worked on excavations across Europe, Asia, and North America, including India, Cyprus, and Syria. She loves bringing her passion for the past to new people. You can follow her on twitter, @pluperfectpatty.
Vaccination is currently a hot topic in the media, but it isn’t anything new. From our earliest recorded history, humanity has faced the scourge of diseases like smallpox, rabies, and diphtheria. We have long battled to protect people – and animals! – from these and other illnesses. Historians have reason to believe that vaccination and inoculation to achieve these goals date back centuries.
In this class we’ll talk about the evidence for inoculation in 16th century China and in the ancient traditions of India, West Africa, and the Middle East; the 19th century invention of the rabies vaccine that still is the only effective treatment for the disease; and a heroic dog that raced across Alaska to save over a hundred children from diphtheria. We’ll also take a look at how inoculation helped George Washington win the U.S. war for independence. Finally, we’ll examine the early forms of anti-vaccination campaigning that emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Get ready to get jabbed with knowledge in this fun, occasionally grisly, and informative class on how humanity keeps saving itself.