https://bpl.bibliocommons.com/events/5f403fab6e62343a0053670c Online event
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
History, Lectures & Conferences, Virtual & Streaming
Join the Boston Public Library, American Ancestors/NEHGS, the State Library of Massachusetts, and the WGBH Forum Network for an online talk with Pam Fessler, author of Carville's Cure: Leprosy, Stigma, and the Fight for Justice. Dr. Laura Kolbe, physician, writer, and book critic will moderate the discussion, which is part of the American Stories, Inspiration Today series (https://www.forum-network.org/series/american-stories-inspiration-today/). We invite people who are interested in attending to register at https://wgbh.zoom.us/webinar/register/3015972361007/WN_mMmh8hOKQMipNB5fQid5kQ.
Hear from acclaimed broadcast journalist Pam Fessler about the largely forgotten history of leprosy in the United States– its impact on patients and their families, doctors, and, particularly, the swampy bayou town of Carville, Louisiana, where a “leprosarium” was established in 1894. Carville evolved into a nexus for research and “treatment” that came at a huge personal cost to liberty as patients were stripped of their names, their rights, and their dignity. Understood today to be one of the least infectious diseases in the world, leprosy, now called Hansen’s disease, instilled a coronavirus-level of fear and an outsized reaction from public health authorities well into the 20th century. CARVILLE’S CURE chronicles in riveting detail how America treated, contained, and demonized its sufferers before wiser heads prevailed.
Carville's Cure: Leprosy, Stigma, and the Fight for Justice can be purchased online at Porter Square Books via https://www.portersquarebooks.com/book/9781631495038.
Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues.
Dr. Laura Kolbe is a physician, writer, and book critic. She is an assistant professor of medicine and a fellow in the Division of Medical Ethics at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.