Daniel R. Curtis，Why do some epidemics lead to hatred? An Investigation into the impact of economic inequality on the extent of blame, persecution, hatred and violence after early modern plagues
During this presentation I will be introducing a new 250,000 euro project set up at Leiden University with the intention of finding themes of potential comparison with researchers working on societal responses to disease in China – either for comparative papers or future project collaborations. Although epidemics and societal disruption and disorder have often gone hand-in-hand, their association was not always inevitable – sometimes epidemics led to moderate, or even cohesive and compassionate responses too. At the moment, however, we have very little understanding of the conditions that make extreme social responses more likely after epidemics. This project aims to unravel some of these conditions by focusing in on plague epidemics in the early modern Low Countries. The added value of my approach is to be more systematic with the comparative approach by holding variables on the ‘disease side’ constant, and to use more quantifiably measurable indicators of social disruption rather than reliance on literary and anecdotal evidence from contemporary commentators.
Dr. Daniel R. Curtis has a BA from the University of York, a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from Utrecht University. He worked for 2 years as a post-doc on an ERC-funded project at Utrecht University on a project that tried to understand why some societies were better at coping with hazards and recovering from disasters than others, which culminated in his first book ‘Coping with Crisis’. He now works as an Assistant Professor at Leiden University on his own project that he is introducing.