Yellow Fever and the Rage for Data in the Founding Era: Municipal Efforts to Understand and Prevent Epidemics in the Northeast

Friday Seminar
Carolyn Eastman, Virginia Commonwealth University
Sep 8, 2023 at - | McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk/Zoom

Carolyn Eastman

Carolyn Eastman is Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the new book review editor for the William and Mary Quarterly. Her research focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of early America and the Atlantic world, political culture, gender, and the history of print, oral, and visual media. She is the author of the prizewinning A Nation of Speechifiers: Making an American Public after the Revolution (Chicago, 2009), and The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States’ First Forgotten Celebrity (OI / UNC Press, 2021), the latter of which received the SHEAR James Bradford Best Biography prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction. She has also had articles in the William and Mary Quarterly, Early American Literature, Smithsonian Magazine, Slate, and other publications. She recently completed an NEH Public Scholar Grant fellowship as part of developing a new project on Black and White New Yorkers’ experiences with the yellow fever epidemics of the 1790s. 

Eastman earned her Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University, her M.A. in History from the University of New Hampshire, and her B.A. in History from the University of California-Santa Cruz.



The McNeil Center sponsors a seminar that meets on Friday afternoons approximately twice a month between September and May, with the paper for each session circulated in advance. Over two hundred people attend at least once a year, with an average attendance of 40 to 50 at meetings held at various sites in the Delaware Valley. While most of the regular attendees are graduate students and faculty from institutions in the Philadelphia area, participants come from as far afield as Long Island, New York City, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington. 

The McNeil Center will utilize a hybrid format for seminars in which participants may gather together at the McNeil Center building (or occasionally at an MCEAS Consortium institution host in the Philadelphia area) or attend via Zoom. For regular updates about our seminars, please join our mailing list. Please email us at mceas@sas.upenn.edu with any questions.