Disease and the Politics of Community: Norwood, Massachusetts and the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2006

Project Description/Abstract

I am applying for a CART Summer Grant to complete the research and writing necessary to revise my book manuscript entitled “Disease and the Politics of Community,” a study of the impact of the 1918 influenza epidemic on the town of Norwood, Massachusetts. My research attempts to establish a model for the analysis of epidemics, one that designates social behavior as a fundamental predictor of the epidemic curve and its consequences. The global spread of infectious diseases and the threat of avian influenza have focused increased attention on the problem of local responses to epidemics. In the revised manuscript, the study’s historical narrative will remain largely unchanged; however, I plan to incorporate recent scholarship on both influenza and epidemic behavior patterns into the introduction and to include a section on what this community study can teach us about epidemic preparedness planning in the conclusion.

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