Disease and History (HIST*3310) | College of Arts

Disease and History (HIST*3310)

Code and section: HIST*3310*01

Term: Winter 2018

Instructor: Tara Abraham


Course Synopsis:

This course will focus on the complex roles that disease has played in human history since the middle ages. We will concentrate on how understandings of health and disease have changed over time. In doing so, we will examine not only how they are shaped by social, cultural, and political contexts, but also how these spheres are in turn shaped by disease. Through close analysis of both primary and secondary readings, we will pay attention to the interplay between social and cultural responses to disease and the professional and institutional contexts of medicine and medical knowledge. Through case studies of epidemic diseases, we will observe how they have divided human populations and cultures, but also tied human populations together. Topics will include social diseases, disease and colonialism, disease and commerce, madness, public health, the rise of scientific medicine, disease and war, global health, and disease and women.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Class Participation            10%
Research Paper Proposal        5%
Critical Evaluation Assignment    10%
Book Critique                10%
Midterm Exam            20%
Research Paper            25%
Final Exam                20%

Texts and/or Resources Required:

1. Mark Harrison (2004). Disease and the Modern World: 1500 to the Present Day. John Wiley and Sons.
2. A set of online readings, available through Ares, the Library’s Course Reserve system, and the course website.

* Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only.  The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.