Hajj in the Time of Cholera: Disease Vectors and the Pilgrimage to Mecca from Southeast Asia

April 1, 2014 @ 1:00 am – 2:00 am
ZSR Room 404

Join us for a public lecture about important historical issues occurring during the annual Hajj to Mecca by Dr. Eric Tagliacozzo, Professor of History at Cornell University. Below is an abstract to preface the lecture.

Performing the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is incumbent upon every Muslim as one of five pillars of the faith.  In colonial times, however, disease stalked the pilgrim ships coming to Arabia, as cholera and other maladies traveled alongside the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who made the long trip. This talk looks at devotion and disease together, as one of the world’s great circuits of human travel for a single purpose evolved in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  In many years during this era, more Muslims performed their Hajj from Southeast Asia than from any other part of the world, making the urgency of epidemiology on the annual Hajj a matter of global import.  This talk examines the fate of these pilgrims, and the actions and attitudes of the states who examined their passage