Last updated April 2021
- “Communicating Disease: Information Networks During the Plague of Provence,” The Enlightenment in Motion Symposium, Mount Royal University (March 17, 2017).
- “Digital Humanities for the People(?): Past, Present, and Future,” invited speaker for roundtable “Digital Humanities: A Decade of Experience” for the Society for French Historical Studies conference titled “Digital Humanities: Ways Forward, A Conference in Honor of David Kammerling Smith” (March 20, 2021).
- “History in Times of Crisis: Lessons from the Plague of Provence,” invited speaker for the Phi Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony at Belmont Abbey College (March 5, 2021).
- “Plague, COVID, and Empire: 1720 & 2020,” Texas State University, (November 12, 2020).
- “Health, Culture, and Society,” invited speaker and workshop leader, Bowdoin College (October 26, 2020).
- “Cities and Urban Development in Times of Plague,” for The History of Now: Plagues and Pandemics, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (October 2, 2020).
- “History in the Time of COVID: Reflections on the 1720 Plague of Provence,” invited speaker and workshop leader for the Preyer Lecture Series at Queens University of Charlotte on “History for Our Time” (September 7, 2020).
- “COVID-19: Past, Present, and Future,” for Urgent Matters: Times of Pandemics, co-hosted by Latin America and Latino Studies (LALS) and the Lewis Global Center at Smith College (April 23, 2020).
- “On Environmental Disaster in the Gulf South: Two Centuries of Catastrophe, Risk, and Resilience,” Author book talk at Louisiana Book Festival (November 10, 2018).
- “Disruptions in Time: Historical Reflections on Disaster, Revolution, and the Digital Humanities,” Atlantic Colloquium, Florida International University (October 25, 2018).
- “The Great Plague Scare of 1720: Disaster and Society in the Eighteenth-Century World,” Center for Biology and Society, Arizona State University (August 28, 2018).
- “Understanding Disaster and the Environment in the Long Eighteenth Century,” Symposium on Disasters and Catastrophes in the Enlightenment, Mount Royal University (March 9, 2018).
- “The Spectre of Death: An Early Modern Epidemic in Transnational Context,” for forum, Early Modern Plagues: Histories of Resilience, Arizona State University (April 11, 2017).
- “Plague and Crisis in the Eighteenth Century,” Arizona State University’s Institute for Humanities Research (April 10, 2017).
- “Plague Cultures: Managing the 1720 Plague of Provence in France,” Department of Modern Languages, University of Lethbridge (October 3, 2016).
IN THE MEDIA (For published op-eds and academic journalism, see Publications.)
Print Media Interviews (National and Local)
- The Atlantic: Invited Q & A with Alexis C. Madrigal, “Why the Gulf Coast Is Uniquely Vulnerable to Disasters: It isn’t just because of the weather, a historian argues” (August 29, 2017).
- Lethbridge News Now: Interviewed for feature article on “Learning the lessons of a catastrophic storm,” by Geoff Smith (August 29, 2017).
- BBC World Newsday: Live interview with Bola Mosuro on the dangers of President Trump’s plan to prematurely “Open Up America Again” (April 17, 2020).
- CJOC FM Lethbridge News 94.1: Radio interview on the history of modern disasters and Hurricane Harvey (August 30, 2017).
- Univision (and on YouTube): Spanish-language interview on the history of the “Spanish” Flu as we battle COVID-19 (April 15, 2020).
- CTV Lethbridge: Interview on vulnerability of Gulf South to natural hazards (August 31, 2017).
- Al Jazeera English “NewsHour”: Live appearance to discuss disaster management of Hurricane Harvey in context of Gulf South’s larger history of disaster (August 30, 2017).
“COVID Calls,” Disaster STS Network: Historians’ Roundtable on “Pandemics Across Time” with Scott Knowles (January 26, 2021).
- Cited Media’s “Secondary Symptoms” Podcast: Interview for “Return to Normalcy?” episode, with Jay Cockburn (July 27, 2020).
- Cited Media’s “Secondary Symptoms” Podcast: Interview for “Pandemic Amnesia” episode on the history of public health crises, disaster, and memory, with Gordon Katic (May 7, 2020).
- Cited Media’s “Secondary Symptoms” Podcast: Appearance on “Not So Fast” episode on the history of pandemics, with Gordon Katic (April 30, 2020).
- Disaster STS Network: Interview on “Pandemics in History,” for “COVID Calls” podcast/YouTube Live, with Scott Knowles of Drexel University (March 30, 2020).
- Reddit’s “AskHistorians” Podcast: Interview on “La Peste! The Great Plague of Marseille,” with Andrés Pertierra of UW Madison (May 6, 2017).
- “Catastrophe is Our Bedtime Story Podcast”: Interview on “Catastrophe in the Age of Revolutions,” with Michael Egan of McMaster University (October 28, 2016).
Work Featured (A Selection)
- The Atlantic: My edited volume (Environmental Disaster in the Gulf South), and my interview with Alexis Madrigal were included in: “The Books Briefing: How to Tell a Story About Florida,” by Kate Cray (June 26, 2020).
- Agencia AIDS: My research on the Plague of Provence was cited and described in: “Postura hesitante de governos não é privilégio desta pandemia, mostra a história,” in Agência de Notícias da Aids (June 18, 2020).
- Article for Brazil’s O Tempo features my recent work on parallels between the Plague of Provence and the COVID-19 pandemic: Alex Bessas, “Covid-19, Aids e outras emergências de saúde: os erros se repetem Preconceito, teorias conspiratórias, autoridades hesitantes e informações falsas são similaridades entre a atual e outras pandemias,” O Tempo (May 31, 2020).
- The Otempo article was translated and reprinted for Time24 News: “Covid-19, AIDS and other health emergencies: mistakes are repeated: Prejudice, conspiracy theories, hesitant authorities, and false information are similarities between the current and other pandemics,” Time24 News (June 1, 2020).
- Article for Brazil’s Café História about my research on the Plague of Provence: Bruno Leal, “‘Certificado de cura’ já foi usado no passado para dar liberdade de movimento após epidemias,” Café História (May 28, 2020).
- PolitiFact; Australian Associated Press (AAP); Austin American-Statesman, news.com.au, and others: My research on the Plague of Provence has been cited in various news outlets to help factcheck a misleading claim on pandemics that has been making the rounds on Facebook (April 2020).
- The Atlantic: My edited volume, Environmental Disaster in the Gulf South: Two Centuries of Catastrophe, Risk, and Resilience, was mentioned in: “What We’re Reading” in “The Books Briefing: What the Storms Left Behind,” by Myles Poydras (September 6, 2019).
- The Atlantic: Included under “Scholars and Writers” in “How to Track the Ongoing Fallout from Harvey: An annotated list of trusted sources on the hurricane and its aftermath” (August 28, 2017).
ROUNDTABLES, CONFERENCE PAPERS, & CHAIRED SESSIONS
- “Coping in the Midst of a Pandemic,” Town Hall on COVID-19, University of Texas at San Antonio (April 8, 2020).
- “Using Digital Tools to Do Public History,” Society for French Historical Studies, Indianapolis, IN (April 4-6, 2019).
- Academic Blogging Roundtable: “Networks, Perspectives, and Trajectories,” American Historical Association, Chicago, IL (January 3-6, 2019).
- “Disaster and Crisis: Eighteenth-Century Perspectives” for roundtable, “Eighteenth-Century Environments” (Science Studies Caucus), American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Orlando, FL (March 22-25, 2018).
- “Home of Disaster: Katrina, BP, and the Gulf South, 5 and 10 Years Later: A Roundtable Discussion,” Louisiana Historical Association, Lafayette, LA (March 5-7, 2015).
Conference Papers & Panel Organization
- “Plague and Crisis in the Eighteenth Century: Reactions to the Plague of Provence in Atlantic Port Cities,” Port Cities in the Atlantic Conference, Charleston, SC (May 14-16, 2020). (Accepted, but canceled due to COVID-19.)
- “Revolution as Disaster,” Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, Tallahassee, FL (February 27-29, 2020).
- “Plague and the Port City: Movement and Migration During an Eighteenth-Century Crisis,” Western Society for French History, Reno, NV (November 2-4, 2017). (“Disasters and Dislocation in France and the Empire,” H-France Salon, Vol. 9, Issue 26)
- “The 1720 Plague of Provence and Bourbon Reform in the Eighteenth Century,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Minneapolis, MN (March 30-April 2, 2017).
- “Cities and Disasters in the Eighteenth Century,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Minneapolis, MN (March 30-April 2, 2017).
- “Bourbon Centralization in Spain During the Plague of Provence, 1720-1724,” Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, San Diego, CA (March 17-20, 2016).
- “The Peste of Provence and the Centralization of Crisis Management in the Early Eighteenth Century,” Society for French Historical Studies, Colorado Springs, CO (April 16-19, 2015). (“Learning from the Courte Durée: Moments in Mediterranean Environmental History,” H-France Salon, Vol. 7, Issue 8)
- “The Politics of Disaster: Risk and Exploitation in Spain during the Marseille Plague and Beyond,” American Historical Association, Washington DC (January 2-5, 2014).
- “Plague in the Port City: The Marseille Plague of 1720 in Transnational Perspective,” American Association for the History of Medicine, Atlanta, GA (May 16-19, 2013).
- “Pestilence and Politics: The 1720 Peste of Provence in Cádiz and Marseille,” Society for French Historical Studies, Cambridge, MA (April 4-7, 2013).
- “The Good Friday Fire of 1788: Implications of a Disaster in Spanish Colonial New Orleans,” Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, Charleston, SC (February 25-27, 2010).
- “The Fire of 1788: Managing Disaster in a Spanish Colonial Urban Landscape,” Florida Conference of Historians, Wakulla, FL (February 18-20, 2010).
Chair and/or Commentator
- Chair and commentator for “Material and Digital Approaches to Labor, Health, and the Political Ecology of Slavery,” Omohundro Institute Annual Conference, Williamsburg, VA (June 18-20, 2021).
- Co-organizer and co-chair for the Age of Revolutions’ Webinar on Miguel La Serna’s Masses and Arms: Peru’s Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, co-hosted with Smith College and UNC Press (July 23, 2020).
- Chair, “Sulphur and Sailing: Science and Medicine in the Revolutionary Era,” Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, Tallahassee, FL (February 27-29, 2020).
- Chair, “Plants as Case Study in the History of Philosophy, Sciences, and Medicine, 16th-19th Centuries,” History of Science Society, Seattle, WA (Nov. 1-4, 2018)
- Chair, “The Growth of Trade, Economic Liberalism, and Attitudes to Absolute Monarchy at the End of the Old Regime,” Western Society for French History, Reno, NV (Nov. 2-4, 2017).
- Chair, “Consent and Coercion in Revolutionary and Napoleonic Policy,” Society for French Historical Studies, Washington, DC (April 20-23, 2017).
- Chair, “Cities and Disasters in the Eighteenth Century,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Minneapolis, MN (March 30-April 2, 2017).
- Chair, “Gender and the Birthrate in Modern France and Empire,” Society for French Historical Studies, Nashville, TN (March 3-6, 2016).
- Chair, “Visualizing Rural Life and Labor in a Time of Industrial Agriculture, 1945 to the present,” Society for French Historical Studies, Nashville, TN (March 3-6, 2016).