Mapping Contagion

Wed. Apr 3, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
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Event Description

How have researchers used or created maps as objects of study?

Join us for a research methods event with a distinctly cartographic focus. Through the unifying lens of infectious disease, each presentation will start by looking at one item from the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division before expanding out to reveal the role of mapping in their given research field. Scholars and curators from the worlds of public history, medicine, and sociology will discuss the variety of methodologies they use, and there will be time to visit the exhibition Mapping Contagion: Representing Infectious Disease in New York City, currently on display in Room 117 at the New York Public Library. The event will bring together the core partner organizations from the Wellcome’s Contagious Cities project, including The New York Public Library’s Maps Division, Tenement Museum, New York Academy of Medicine, Museum of the City of New York, and the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY, as well as introducing researchers working on related themes.

Registration required.


3:30-4:30pm: Panel 1
Anne Garner, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at The New York Academy of Medicine Library, "Swill milk, fever-nests, and insalubrious quarters: Mapping nineteenth-century New York's nuisances"
David Favaloro, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Hebrew Technical Institute Research Fellow, Lower East Side Tenement Museum,“Mapping the Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Disease with the Tenement House Commission” 
Gergely Baics, Associate Professor of History and BPH Endowed Faculty Chair of Urban Studies, Barnard College,“Mapping Density and Crowding as Indicators of Public Health: Exploiting the 1852-54 Perris Atlas of New York City”

4:30-5:00pm: Break 

5:00-6:00pm: Panel 2
Ian Fowler, Curator and Geospatial Librarian for the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, New York Public Library, "Curating Mapping Contagion at NYPL"
Kerri Culhane/Stefano Morello, co-curators of The Lung Block: A New York City Slum & Its Forgotten Italian Immigrant Community (NYC Dept of Records, April-October 2019)"Putting the Lung Block on the Map"
Rebecca Hayes Jacobs, Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, Museum of the City of New York, "Mapping the Meanings of Contagion in Germ City"

6:30pm: Screening and Discussion with Mariam Ghani
Afghani multi-media artist Mariam Ghani screens a clip of her film "Dis-Ease," which investigates the metaphors we use to undertsand and treat illnesses. Following the screening, Ghani will be joined for a conversation with  guests whose work touches on issues the film raises about science, the history and philosophy of medicine, and biopolitics. Free with registration.

Co-hosted by The New York Public Library and the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY. 

Supported by Wellcome as part of Contagious Cities.

ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

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Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (2nd Fl) 476 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018