Guest Speaker

Plants and Plagues

Jean Beagle Ristaino of North Carolina State University, John McNeill of Georgetown University, and Tristan Brown of MIT

Register in advance for each session at

This class exposes students to the study of history for its own sake and also for a deeper understanding of the present and the future. We explore current events in a historical perspective from the vantage point of a series of MIT and guest speakers discussing their research in the context of current national and global events. For Fall 2020, the course will focus on the history of infectious disease. We will look transnationally and across discipline at how plagues and pandemics have made an impact on human and non-human history. The course will have a roundtable format, meeting for one-hour sessions each week with brief presentations by the invited speakers followed by Q&A with enrolled students. The course will also be broadcast live as a webinar each week for the benefit of interested members of the larger MIT community and the public.

A list of short, optional readings related to each week’s sessions can be found at

Please contact kalopes if you have any questions