#79 - Plagues Upon The Earth: A Dialogue with Kyle Harper
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In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Kyle Harper about the history of plague and disease on the planet. They begin by talking about his reasons for writing his latest book and the two main theses of the book. They talk about the five taxa of pathology and the importance of globalization on disease. They discuss the three components of parasitism and how the evolution of disease evolves alongside hominoids. They talk about the importance of hunter-gatherers in the Pleistocene period along with the key aspect of vector borne transmission diseases. They move to the Agrarian period and the importance of fecal-oral transmission for disease history. They talk about examples of typhoid disease and measles and how density and domesticates are implicated in respiratory diseases.  They also talk about the plague and its complicated history while also mentioning zoonotic leaps from bats and rats. They also discuss the Colombian exchange the impact this period had on the spread of disease in the world. They talk about the impact of the mosquito and how modernity has continued to work on the evolution of diseases. They mention public healthy innovations in the modern ages, vaccines, and where COVID-19 sits in the history of disease. Kyle Harper is a Professor of Classics and Letters and Provost Emeritus and Senior Advisor to the President at the University of Oklahoma. He is a historian of ancient Rome and his interests are disease history, economic history, and environmental history. He is the author of four books, including his most recent book, Plagues Upon The Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History. You can purchase this book here. You can find much of his research at his website. Twitter: @oklahomaharper
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