We are interested in any and all theories, policies and practices of preventative healthcare at the population level among pre- and non-industrial societies across the world.
Bibliography of premodern public health (eds. Coomans and Geltner; updated 28 August 2018)
This is a list of secondary sources with direct bearing on the history of public health before c. 1750. It is predominantly European and Mediterranean, although we are gradually expanding the geographical coverage of studies concerning population-level, preventative interventions in pre-modernity. Wherever possible, we added links to works that are freely and fully available online, that is, they neither hide behind pay walls nor require membership or any other form of (pre)registration to be accessed. You can have access to the dynamically updated bibliography through www.premodernhealthscaping.hcommons.org/documents/.
Black Death and Public Health teaching module for undergraduates (A. Agresta and G. Geltner)
The present module introduces advanced undergraduates to the events known as the Black Death (1347-1352) and situates them in the broader culture of medieval public health or premodern prophylactics. It is divided into two teaching units of equal length and interchangeable order: premodern public health theory, policy and practice can operate as an introductory context for the various impacts of plague, while an exploration of Black Death can also be a starting point for discussing prophylactic medicine and urban hygiene more broadly. Together they question whether the second plague pandemic triggered any and all preventative interventions, and illustrate Galenic medicine’s overall influence on prophylactic measures at the population level both before and after its onset.