Contextualizing COVID-19: Plight, Pandemics and Policy (HIST*2170) | College of Arts

Contextualizing COVID-19: Plight, Pandemics and Policy (HIST*2170)

Code and section: HIST*2170*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Kimberley Martin


AD-S Virtual:

This course will be taught online in a Synchronous format on the following scheduled day(s) and time(s):

MWF    2:30 pm - 3:20 pm

Details provided by instructor: Class will meet (on Zoom or Teams, tbd) on Mondays and Wednesday for 50 minutes of lecture and discussions; on Fridays for 50 minutes of live discussions and hands-on learning about digital archives.

Course Synopsis:

The course will examine COVID-19 in historical perspective through lectures from History Faculty on topics including medieval and early modern plagues, the 1918 and other pandemics, the history of vaccination and public health, the rise of hospitals, as well as tourism and sports in times of disruption. Students will create a COVID-19 digital archive, using media, photographs, diaries, and other sources.  They will also be trained in the creation of historical and digital archives and in designing a coherent collection.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the historical context of how societies have responded to pandemics and epidemics, and what lessons were learned from them;
  2. Communicate ideas effectively in both written and oral forms, through skills developed in their written assignments and oral discussions;
  3. Analyze, synthesize and integrate knowledge on a digital platform;
  4. Explain the best practices of the digital research process, including copyright, web accessibility, and metadata;
  5. Collaborate respectfully with others, individually and in teams;
  6. Develop intellectual independence and practice self-directed inquiry;
  7. Work with and interpret primary source materials pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other historical epidemics, pandemics and crises.


This is a Priority Access Course. Enrolment may be restricted to particular programs and specializations during certain periods. Please see the departmental website for more information.

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

  1. Class Participation - 15%
  2. Lecture Response Journal - 25%
  3. Proposal for Digital Archive - 20%
  4. Digital Archive Project - 40%

Texts Required:

All readings will be provided online through Ares, the University of Guelph’s online Course Reserve system, or will be available through openly available web links provided on the syllabus.

*Please note: This is a preliminary website 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.