Yellow fever sos

New Orleans Film Society New Orleans, LA


Emily Perkins

Curatorial Cataloger, Historic New Orleans Collection

Yellow Fever (La fièvre jaune)— Cajun culture and public health

The festival's in-person screenings will include a pre-screening presentation by Emily Perkins, an archivist and cataloguer at the Historic New Orleans Collection's Williams Research Center, about the historical context of yellow fever: its origins, symptoms, treatments, eradication efforts, and the role that mosquitoes played in spreading the disease. She will detail the death counts in the New Orleans region in the 1800s, as compared to other parts of the Gulf South during the same time period, and provide insight into this epidemic and the worldwide response to COVID-19.

New Orleans Film Society New Orleans, LA

Film Synopsis

Who will survive the 1897 yellow fever epidemic in Louisiana?

It is 1897 and Louisiana is plagued by a devastating epidemic of yellow fever. Families are being separated and quarantined. Will their loved ones survive? Director Glen Pitre used an all-Cajun cast—mostly non-professionals—to make this memorable dramatic film. New 4K Restoration by IndieCollect created with the support of the Golden Globe Foundation.

About the Speaker

Emily Perkins has been a Curatorial Cataloger at the Historic New Orleans Collection's Williams Research Center since 2017. She got her Bachelor's in History from LSU Honors College and a Master's of Science in Information Studies (MSIS) from the University of Texas at Austin. She works to archive, describe, and rehouse objects in THNOC's permanent collection and often writes for THNOC's First Draft blog about her interesting finds. Her work about the yellow fever outbreak includes an article published in THNOC’s Quarterly magazine and the New Orleans Times-Picayune.