As Confederate monuments and memorials are toppled across the United States, Stanford historian James T. Campbell says it is important to think historically not only about the past but also about our own time and what future generations might say about us.
When the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it was a call for the right to statehood rather than individual liberties, says Stanford historian Jack Rakove. Only after the American Revolution did people interpret it as a promise for individual equality.
In a graduate seminar taught by Stanford medical anthropologist S. Lochlann Jain, students examined how previous epidemics – such as yellow fever, smallpox, polio and AIDS – can illuminate the social dynamics and politics of the era.
The inability of 14th-century medicine to stop the plague from destroying societies throughout Europe and Asia helped advance scientific discovery and transformed politics and health policy, says Stanford historian Paula Findlen.
With the U.S. anticipating an economic downturn not seen since the Great Depression, historian David M. Kennedy reflects on how that calamitous event was a watershed moment in U.S. history and transformed American institutions.
Stanford historian Kathryn Olivarius discusses her research into antebellum New Orleans and how the yellow fever epidemic shaped the region economically and socially – at a devastating and deadly cost.