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Care for the Polis: Introduction and Germ City Exhibition with Rebecca Hayes Jacobs

Public Humanities

May 5, 2020

Humans and microbes have always co-habited, and their relationship has had a profound influence on human history—especially in cities, the crossroads of the movements of people, goods, and germs. Dr. Rebecca Hayes Jacobs will discuss her work as co-curator of Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis, a 2018 exhibition at the City Museum of New York that explored the complex story of the city's long battle against infectious disease—a fight involving government, urban planners, medical professionals, businesses, and activists. Planned to mark the centennial of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the show was organized in collaboration with The New York Academy of Medicine and Wellcome as part of the latter's international project Contagious Cities, a multi-city research and public humanities porject that explored the interplay of people and pathogens in urban contexts.