Term: Summer 2021 - Summer Session IV (06/28/2021 - 07/30/2021)
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In this course, students will explore the American past through the careful examination of 8 outbreaks and epidemics between the colonial era and the present: smallpox, yellow fever, polio, typhoid fever, influenza, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Students will use these case studies to uncover the impact of these diseases on American medicine, politics, economy, demographics, and the daily lives of affected individuals. Students will gain research skills through extensive use of primary sources including newspapers, diaries, archaeological findings, and oral traditions of illness as well as modern sources like photographs, blogs, news, and digital media, and representations of disease on television and film. We will seek to explore the ways that past Americans reacted differently to outbreaks of disease, as well as the ways that our modern experience mirrors the past.