Episode 84 - Memories and the Modern Uses of the Black Death with Ben Dodds

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Ben Dodds (Florida State University) speaks with Merle and Lee about his new book on memories, myths, and the modern uses of the Black Death over the past 200 years. He begins by discussing the emotional appeal of why people continue to study the Black Death, along with the increased focus on the pandemic since the outbreak of the Cholera Pandemics in the 19th century. Ben then speaks more specifically about the Black Death’s role as a key part of English exceptionalism, in which the pandemic is key to ideas about freedom and industrialization. At the end, Ben explains the importance of public facing histories and literature in the memory and myths of the Black Death along with outlining how he does research on these genres.

The image is from Green's A Short History of the English People, illustrated ed., 1902 (vol. 2, p. 478).

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