Ped Mall -Scene 1 Sat, Feb 23, 2019 3:00 PM
Event Info
Dialogue:Followed by presentation led by Sharon DeWitte, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, College
Series Info
Series:Science on Screen
Film Info
Runtime:106 minutes
Director:Steven Soderbergh
Year Released:2011
Production Country:USA
United Arab Emirates


 Co-presented by Iowa City Darwin Day, Contagion will be followed by a presentation led by Sharon DeWitte, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of South Carolina!

"A starkly effective ensemble drama which could well do for the sniffles what Jaws did for great whites." - Dan Jolin, Empire

"This smart, spooky thriller about a thicket of contemporary plagues - a killer virus, rampaging fear - is as ruthlessly effective as the malady at its cool, cool center." - Manohla Dargis, New York Times

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis from business in Hong Kong, what she thought was jet lag takes a virulent turn. Two days later, she's dead in the ER and the doctors tell her shocked and grieving husband (Matt Damon) they have no idea why.

Soon more cases are reported as the virus begins to spread. Doctors at the United States Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization mobilize to break the code of this unique biological pathogen as it continues to mutate. Deputy Director Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) tries to allay the growing panic despite his own personal concerns, and must send a brave young doctor (Kate Winslet) into harm's way.

Sharon N DeWitte (PhD, The Pennsylvania State University, 2006)
Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Dr. DeWitte's research specialties are bioarchaeology, paleoepidemiology, and paleodemography. She engages in the reconstruction of life, health, disease, and demography in the past using assemblages of human skeletal remains, and is ultimately interested in the ways in which research on past populations informs our understanding of and promotes health among living people. Her research examines the biological, environmental, economic, and social factors that affect and interact with variation in health and mortality; the ecology, epidemiology, and consequences of diseases in past human populations; and the co-evolution of humans and pathogens. For the last 15 years, her research has primarily centered around the Black Death (c. 1346-1353), the first outbreak of the Second Pandemic of Plague, and one of the most devastating and influential epidemics in human history. Her research on diet, migration, and demography in medieval London is currently funded by the National Science Foundation. Recent publications include "Stress, sex, and plague: patterns of developmental stress and survival in pre-and post-Black Death London", American Journal of Human Biology, 2018, and "Archaeological evidence of epidemics can inform future epidemics", Annual Review of Anthropology, 2016.

Presented as part of Science on Screen® - An initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.