Edith Bleich Lecture Series

The Edith Bleich Lecture Series was established by Dr. Stuart Blumin in memory of Edith Bleich.  Ms. Bleich was one the University of Miami’s earliest and most devoted students.  Each year, the Center invites a humanities scholar to speak to the UM and South Florida community about their research.  This event is free an open to the public.

Kyle Harper

 Professor of Classics and Letters and Provost Emeritus

The University of Oklahoma

"Health and History in a Time of Pandemic"

Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7:00pm

Zoom Webinar

Free & Open to the Public‌  |  Registration Required



The control of infectious disease is supposed to be a hallmark of the modern world, and thus the COVID-19 pandemic not only feels like we are living through something historic, but that we are living in history. In this lecture, Professor Harper will emphasize why the history of health is a field requiring interdisciplinary work that joins the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and explores the ways that some of the very tools that are helping us track the spread of the new coronavirus are also opening up the possibility of a deeper understanding of how human transformation of disease ecology has been a part of history for millennia. 

"Kyle Harper has emerged as without doubt one of the most creative, engaging, and productive scholars currently working in the field of late antiquity. In two major publications (Slavery in the Late Roman World [2011] and From Shame to Sin [2013]) and through a series of punctiliously researched articles, he has added depth and color to our understanding of late antique social history, and of the differences Christianity did (and did not) make.."—The American Historical Review

Kyle Harper is Professor of Classics and Letters and Provost Emeritus at The University of Oklahoma. Dr. Harper is a historian of the ancient world whose work has spanned economic, environmental, and social history.  He is the author of three books  Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275-425  (2011), which was awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize by the American Historical Association and the Outstanding Publication Award from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South; From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality (2013), which won the Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in Historical Studies from the American Academy of Religion; and The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire (2013), which has been translated into twelve languages. He is currently writing a global history of infectious disease.