HISTORY 376 - Epidemics: Plagues and Cultures from the Black Death to the Present
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

From the Black Death of 1347 to the latest emergent infections such as Zika, dramatic disease outbreaks both influenced and reflected human history. This course explores how medicine and culture intersected to affect the causes of and responses to epidemics; and it uses selected specific epidemics to illuminate aspects of global history from the ancient world to the present.

Themes will include the causes of epidemiological change, the social and cultural impact of each scourge, the organized public health responses and the development of medical therapeutics and technologies. This course will demonstrate how studying responses to an epidemic can provide insights into the cultures it affected. It will also provide a historical perspective from which to consider the role and limits of medicine in confronting current epidemics.

Course Requirements:

Midterm exam (20%), final exam (20%), 5 short-answer quizzes on material from both lecture and readings (20%), reading journal and discussion sections (20%), and a 2500-word final research project (20%). Students will receive extensive guidance in class and individually on research topic selection and how to locate and interpret historical documents. Specific portions of the research project will be due at various points throughout the term.

Intended Audience:

Sophomores, juniors and seniors. While it is meant to be rigorous and challenging, it presumes no previous background in history or medicine.

Class Format:

Three hours of lecture plus one hour of discussion section per week.

HISTORY 376 - Epidemics: Plagues and Cultures from the Black Death to the Present
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
002 (DIS)
003 (DIS)
004 (DIS)
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
Dollar Bill
ISBN: 0156002620
Microbe hunters, Author: Paul De Kruif ; introduction by F. Gonzalez-Crussi., Publisher: Harcourt, Brace 1926
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0195307143
Polio : an American story ; [the crusade that mobilized the nation against the 20th century's most feared disease], Author: David M. Oshinsky., Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press 2006
ISBN: 1594202869
Pox : an American history, Author: Willrich, Michael., Publisher: Penguin Press 2011
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0275980928
The Columbian exchange : biological and cultural consequences of 1492, Author: Alfred W. Crosby, Jr. ; forewords by J.R. McNeill and Otto von Mering., Publisher: Praeger 30th anniv 2003
ISBN: 0226726770
The cholera years : the United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866, Author: Charles E. Rosenberg ; with a new afterword., Publisher: University of Chicago Press 2. [Dr.] 1987
ISBN: 0140250913
The coming plague : newly emerging diseases in a world out of balance, Author: Laurie Garrett., Publisher: Penguin Books [Nachdr.]. 1995
ISBN: 0143036491
The great influenza : the story of the deadliest pandemic in history, Author: John M. Barry., Publisher: Penguin Books 1. publ. 2005
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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