Nicole Archambeau

Jan 31, 2023

War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence

A Discussion with Nicole Archambeau

New Books Network 2023

Nicole Archambeau, associate professor of history at Colorado State University, talks about her book, Souls under Siege: Stories of War, Plague, and Confession in Fourteenth-Century Provence (Cornell University Press), with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The book explores how the inhabitants of southern France made sense of the ravages of successive waves of plague, the depredations of mercenary warfare, and the violence of royal succession. Many people, Archambeau finds, understood both plague and war as the symptoms of spiritual sicknesses caused by excessive sin, and they sought cures in confession. Archambeau and Vinsel also discuss the important lessons historians can teach about working to understand people who are quite different from ourselves.

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Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

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