Cindy Ermus Gibson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, History

Cindy Ermus Gibson, Ph.D.


Cindy Ermus, Assistant Professor of History, teaches courses on European history, the Age of Revolutions, and the history of disasters. She specializes in the history of science, medicine, and the environment, especially catastrophe and crisis management, in eighteenth-century France and the Atlantic World. She has also published on digital history and the future of the historical profession. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Stat News, The Miami Herald, and El Nuevo Herald, and she has been a guest on BBC World News, Univision, Al-Jazeera, and others.

Her book, The Great Plague Scare of 1720: Disaster and Diplomacy in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (Cambridge University Press, 2023), is a transnational study of the Plague of Provence of 1720 (or Great Plague of Marseille), one of the last outbreaks of plague in Western Europe. By tracing responses to the threat of infection throughout a network of major eighteenth-century port cities, she explores the ways in which the crisis influenced society, politics, and commerce beyond France in neighboring regions and in the Atlantic colonies.

Her second, shorter monograph is an introductory history on Urban Disasters that will appear in the Cambridge Elements series on Global Urban History (2023). An exploration of the history of urban disasters around the globe over the last three hundred years, it introduces the reader to central concepts that help define the study of disasters and examines the relationship between cities and disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, and epidemics. The book concludes with a brief look at the ongoing effects of climate change and the future of cities.

She is also the editor of a volume on disaster and risk in the Gulf South that was published in January 2018 (LSU Press). Beyond her research and the classroom, she is a co-founder, executive editor, and contributor for the digital academic publication, which explores themes and moments in the history of revolutions.

Research Interests

  • 18th-Century France & Atlantic World
  • Age of Revolutions
  • History of Science, Medicine, and the Environment

Honors and Awards


Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials