Miraculous Plagues: An Epidemiology of Early New England Narrative

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9780190272401: Miraculous Plagues: An Epidemiology of Early New England Narrative

In the summer of 1629, John Winthrop described a series of epidemics that devastated Native American populations along the eastern seaboard of New England as a "miraculous plague." Winthrop was struck by the providential nature of these waves of disease, which contributed neatly to the settlers' justifications for colonial expansion. Taking Winthrop's phrase as its cornerstone, Miraculous Plagues reimagines New England's literary history by tracing seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century epidemics alongside events including early migration, the Antinomian controversy, the evolution of the halfway covenant and jeremiad, and Boston's 1721 inoculation controversy.

Moving beyond familiar histories of New World epidemics (often referred to as the "virgin soil" model), Cristobal Silva identifies epidemiology as a generic category with specialized forms and conventions. Epidemiology functions as both subject and method in Silva's argument, as he details narratives that represent modes of infection, population distribution, and immunity. He considers how regional and generational patterns of illness affected the perception of communal identity, and he analyzes the translation of epidemic events into narrative and generic terms, providing scholars a new way to conceptualize the relationship between immunology and ideology.

Closing with a discussion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Miraculous Plagues underscores the portability of its insights into the geopolitics of medicine. Just as epidemiology aided in transforming colonial America, it continues to influence questions of geography, community, and identity that are bound up in global health practices today.

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About the Author:


Cristobal Silva is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

Review:


"Miraculous Plagues offers a fascinating new approach to colonial literatures from New England." --Early American Literature


"Miraculous Plagues provides insightful new interpretations of canonical and non-canonical colonial New England works, but what's even more exciting is that it offers a model of reading that has the potential to reshape the study of British American writing in startling and compelling new ways while also reimagining the relation between early American texts and later periods of American literary history. This is an exceptional work of scholarship, one of the most interesting and impressive books in the field to appear in the last ten years." --James Egan, author of Authorizing Experience: Refigurations of the Body Politic in Seventeenth-Century New England Writing


"In his bracing inquiry into the interrelationship of bodies, place, and culture in New England, Silva revisits familiar and forgotten stories of English colonization. His study gives us 'epidemiology' as a narrative form every bit as potent as the 'jeremiad' in shaping colonial America." --Kristina Bross, coeditor of Early Native Literacies in New England: A Documentary and Critical Anthology


"A brilliant and sharp-eyed analysis of the relation between epidemiology and narrative, Miraculous Plagues offers a startlingly fresh look at the colonial history of New England. Analyzing disease as productive of narratives that create and sustain communities and describing narrative as itself subject to local outbreak and circulatory transmission, Silva's important work provides a new lens through which to view colonialism in the Atlantic World." --Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, author of The Gender of Freedom: Fictions of Liberalism and the Literary Public Sphere


"An engaging, richly argued monograph that will undoubtedly infect scholars of early America with a new sense of the US's historical and intellectual possibilities...Recommended." --Choice


"[An] ambitious and imaginative book...Silva crafts an inventive argument and a useful framework for future scholars of literature, history, and medicine...Miraculous Plagues is an extraordinary interdisciplinary contribution to early American studies and will serve as a model for further scholarship on the relationship among health, disease, and cultural identities. It should be read by graduate students and scholars of New England history, literature, and medicine alike." --New England Quarterly


"Makes substantial contributions to our deepening understanding of the role of epidemics in the life and thought of early America." --Bulletin of the History of Medicine


"Effectively challenges one-dimensional and static understandings of colonial-period epidemics as exclusively indigenous events, while making a compelling argument for paying closer attention to the ideological structures embedded in contemporary science-based epidemiology." --The Journal of American History


"In developing an epidemiology of narrative, Silva provides us with a new and generative method for reading the links among biological disease, cultural politics, and literary form. He also lays the groundwork for asking new questions about the relationship between bodily experience and ideological inscription." --William and Mary Quarterly


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the summer of 1629, John Winthrop described a series of epidemics that devastated Native American populations along the eastern seaboard of New England as a miraculous plague. Winthrop was struck by the providential nature of these waves of disease, which contributed neatly to the settlers justifications for colonial expansion. Taking Winthrop s phrase as its cornerstone, Miraculous Plagues reimagines New England s literary history by tracing seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century epidemics alongside events including early migration, the Antinomian controversy, the evolution of the halfway covenant and jeremiad, and Boston s 1721 inoculation controversy. Moving beyond familiar histories of New World epidemics (often referred to as the virgin soil model), Cristobal Silva identifies epidemiology as a generic category with specialized forms and conventions. Epidemiology functions as both subject and method in Silva s argument, as he details narratives that represent modes of infection, population distribution, and immunity. He considers how regional and generational patterns of illness affected the perception of communal identity, and he analyzes the translation of epidemic events into narrative and generic terms, providing scholars a new way to conceptualize the relationship between immunology and ideology. Closing with a discussion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Miraculous Plagues underscores the portability of its insights into the geopolitics of medicine. Just as epidemiology aided in transforming colonial America, it continues to influence questions of geography, community, and identity that are bound up in global health practices today. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780190272401

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the summer of 1629, John Winthrop described a series of epidemics that devastated Native American populations along the eastern seaboard of New England as a miraculous plague. Winthrop was struck by the providential nature of these waves of disease, which contributed neatly to the settlers justifications for colonial expansion. Taking Winthrop s phrase as its cornerstone, Miraculous Plagues reimagines New England s literary history by tracing seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century epidemics alongside events including early migration, the Antinomian controversy, the evolution of the halfway covenant and jeremiad, and Boston s 1721 inoculation controversy. Moving beyond familiar histories of New World epidemics (often referred to as the virgin soil model), Cristobal Silva identifies epidemiology as a generic category with specialized forms and conventions. Epidemiology functions as both subject and method in Silva s argument, as he details narratives that represent modes of infection, population distribution, and immunity. He considers how regional and generational patterns of illness affected the perception of communal identity, and he analyzes the translation of epidemic events into narrative and generic terms, providing scholars a new way to conceptualize the relationship between immunology and ideology. Closing with a discussion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Miraculous Plagues underscores the portability of its insights into the geopolitics of medicine. Just as epidemiology aided in transforming colonial America, it continues to influence questions of geography, community, and identity that are bound up in global health practices today. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780190272401

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the summer of 1629, John Winthrop described a series of epidemics that devastated Native American populations along the eastern seaboard of New England as a miraculous plague. Winthrop was struck by the providential nature of these waves of disease, which contributed neatly to the settlers justifications for colonial expansion. Taking Winthrop s phrase as its cornerstone, Miraculous Plagues reimagines New England s literary history by tracing seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century epidemics alongside events including early migration, the Antinomian controversy, the evolution of the halfway covenant and jeremiad, and Boston s 1721 inoculation controversy. Moving beyond familiar histories of New World epidemics (often referred to as the virgin soil model), Cristobal Silva identifies epidemiology as a generic category with specialized forms and conventions. Epidemiology functions as both subject and method in Silva s argument, as he details narratives that represent modes of infection, population distribution, and immunity. He considers how regional and generational patterns of illness affected the perception of communal identity, and he analyzes the translation of epidemic events into narrative and generic terms, providing scholars a new way to conceptualize the relationship between immunology and ideology. Closing with a discussion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Miraculous Plagues underscores the portability of its insights into the geopolitics of medicine. Just as epidemiology aided in transforming colonial America, it continues to influence questions of geography, community, and identity that are bound up in global health practices today. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780190272401

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2015. Book Condition: New. Miraculous Plagues examines the forms and conventions of colonial epidemiology in order to re-imagine New England's early literary history as a function of the narrative, legal, and theological responses to regional and generational patterns of illness in the seventeenth- and early eighteenth centuries. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: 1KBBE; 3JD; DSBD; MBNS; MJCM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 234 x 156. . . 2015. Reprint. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780190272401

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