|Semester and Year||SP 2012|
|Time||11:00 AM - 12:15 PM|
This course explores the cultural, social, scientific, and political dimensions of epidemic disease through an examination of selected episodes from plagues in antiquity to AIDS, Ebola, avian flu, and bioterrorism in our time. We will approach the problem of understanding the role of disease in human history from two different, but interrelated, perspectives: an ecological perspective, making use of a combination of environmental, biological, and cultural factors to help explain the origin and spread of epidemics, and a cultural/social history perspective, emphasizing the interaction of cultural values, religious beliefs, scientific knowledge, medical practice, economics, and politics in shaping perceptions of the nature, causes, cures, and significance of various diseases. Readings will range from Thucydides and the Hippocratic writings to Boccaccio, Defoe, and Orwell, including, where possible, nonwestern sources, along with a variety of recent works that discuss the historical, social, and biological aspects of epidemic disease in different cultural and geographical settings.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)