An Epidemiology of Information: Data Mining the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Office of Digital Humanities

1918 poster of a sick man, with text warning about the spread of influenza
Photo caption

"Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases - As Dangerous as Poison Gas Shells". U.S. Public Health ad on dangers of Spanish Flu epidemic during World War I.

1918 ad via U.S. Public Health Service, Wikimedia Commons.

This project seeks to harness the power of data mining techniques with the interpretive analytics of the humanities and social sciences to understand how newspapers shaped public opinion and represented authoritative knowledge during this deadly pandemic. This research can provide methods for understanding the spread of information and the flow of disease in other societies facing the threat of pandemics.