Stony Brook University History Professor Nancy Tomes is featured in the documentary film The Forgotten Plague: Tuberculosis in America, which will air on the PBS series “American Experience,” Tuesday, February 10, at 9 pm.
The battle against tuberculosis had a profound impact on the United States, shaping medical and scientific pursuits, social habits, economic development, western expansion, and government policy. Yet both the disease and its impact are poorly understood — in the words of one writer, tuberculosis is our “forgotten plague.” In the documentary, Professor Tomes discusses how the fear of TB changed the way ordinary Americans lived, from how they sneezed to how they cleaned their homes.
Professor Tomes’ research interests include the history of medicine, women and gender, and U.S. cultural history. She is the author of several books, two on the history of American mental hospitals; The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life, which won multiple book prizes; and her upcoming Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers.
“American Experience” is the longest-running, most-watched history series on television.
Tune in to PBS on February 10 at 9 pm to watch the film, or visit pbs.org.