Jim Downs will talk about emancipation and illness in his talk titled “Dying to Be Free: The Unintended Consequences of Emancipation During the American Civil War and Reconstruction” on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Fulton Hall, room 511. Downs is the author of Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Drawing on a number of unexamined records at the National Archives, Downs shed light on a smallpox epidemic that devastated newly freed slaves and how cholera, dysentery, and yellow fever threatened the lives of emancipated slaves. Downs is an associate professor of history at Connecticut College. Sponsors: American Studies Program and the Institute for the Liberal Arts.