This sourcebook focuses on historical models of disease, shifting temporal and geographical patterns of disease, the impact of new technologies on categorizing, diagnosing and treating disease, and the different ways in which patients and practitioners have made sense of their experiences of disease in the past. Chapters cover subjects from leprosy in medieval Europe to cancer screening practices in twentieth-century USA; and discuss various sources and methods that can be used to understand the social and cultural contexts of disease.
Throughout history, mankind's working theories regarding the cause of infectious disease have shifted drastically, as cultures developed their philosophic, religious, and scientific beliefs. Confronting Contagion traces a history of disease theory from Classical antiquity to our modern understanding of viruses. Chapters focus on people and places and significant periods during which man's understanding of the cause of disease developed or transformed.