The Classroom

Students in my undergraduate Disease and Society in the Modern World were asked to write blog posts. They could choose to write non-fiction pieces that would distill and mobilize historical knowledge about infectious disease outbreaks; or, to write fictionalized narratives. There were a lot of wonderful responses to this assignment: several of them appear below.


  • Diary of the Cholera Horror in Liverpool
    By Savannah McLeod-Petit
    It was the year of 1832, May 17th to be exact, when the distemper had begun in Liverpool.
  • ‘Bring out the Burkers!’
    By Ruby Appelhans
    Cholera is a frightening bacterial disease that could become fatal in as little as twelve hours. Today, we have a better understanding of this infection due to modern medicine and technology,
  • Does Cholera Now Prevail?
    By Catherine St. John
    After 1849 I had hoped to never see Asiatic Cholera in London again. The hospitals have been filling up with cases since last year. There’s been a substantial outbreak that began in Saint James’s parish roughly five days ago, and many are already dead.