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History Courses


BIOL/HSTY 277: Pandemics, Past and Present: Integrative Approaches

This course is an interdisciplinary course to further student’s understanding of pandemics, by integrating different approaches to comprehend the impacts and challenges of civilizations dealing with major outbreaks of disease. This course is taught at an intermediate level that will be accessible to students from a breadth of academic focus. There are no explicit prerequisites, but the course instructors will review past coursework to ensure readiness for the course. Pandemics have impacted humans throughout history. Two current global pandemics are circulating; caused by the recurrent yearly influenza virus, and the novel SARS CoV-2. Throughout this course, students will gain perspective on how we study and view pandemics both historically and currently. The course integrates the significance, challenges and consequences of living in times where deep biological and epidemiological understanding of viruses and technological advances have become part of the tools humans need to live with modern pandemics, and predict future outbreaks. Each week of the course is taught by a different instructor, to cover 4 themes: the historical perspective, the spread of disease in populations, the life cycle/molecular biology of the influenza virus and SARS CoV-2, and the technology of testing, therapeutics and vaccinations.
Offered as BIOL 277 and HSTY 277.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-synchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

 

Dates: July 6 - August 2, 2021

Session: 4 Week Session (2)

Time: MTWR 1:00-3:15

Instructor: Leena Chakravarty, Dianne Kube, Jonathan Sadowsky, Sarah Markt

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: Biology, History, Interdisciplinary, New 2021 Summer

HSTY 225: Evolution

Multidisciplinary study of the course and processes of organic evolution provides a broad understanding of the evolution of structural and functional diversity, the relationships among organisms and their environments, and the phylogenetic relationships among major groups of organisms. Topics include the genetic basis of micro- and macro-evolutionary change, the concept of adaptation, natural selection, population dynamics, theories of species formation, principles of phylogenetic inference, biogeography, evolutionary rates, evolutionary convergence, homology, Darwinian medicine, and conceptual and philosophic issues in evolutionary theory.
Offered as ANTH 225, BIOL 225, EEPS 225, HSTY 225, and PHIL 225.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-synchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: June 1 - June 28, 2021

Session: 4 Week Session (1)

Time: TWR 5:00-8:00

Instructor: Patricia Princehouse

Credits: 3 credits

Department: History

HSTY 225: Evolution

Multidisciplinary study of the course and processes of organic evolution provides a broad understanding of the evolution of structural and functional diversity, the relationships among organisms and their environments, and the phylogenetic relationships among major groups of organisms. Topics include the genetic basis of micro- and macro-evolutionary change, the concept of adaptation, natural selection, population dynamics, theories of species formation, principles of phylogenetic inference, biogeography, evolutionary rates, evolutionary convergence, homology, Darwinian medicine, and conceptual and philosophic issues in evolutionary theory.
Offered as ANTH 225, BIOL 225, EEPS 225, HSTY 225, and PHIL 225.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-synchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: July 6 - August 2, 2021

Session: 4 Week Session (2)

Time: MWF 9:00-12:00

Instructor: Patricia Princehouse

Credits: 3 credits

Department: History

HSTY 241: Inventing Public Health

The core principle of this course is that public health is a concept that was formed in different ways at different times in different places. It had no existence as we know it before the nineteenth century, but course participants will learn how it grew out of an ancient tradition of the political elite’s concern that its subjects were a threat to them and the stability of the realm. Course participants will discover how, in the nineteenth century, it became a professional practice as we know it and realized advances in human health, longevity, and security perhaps greater than any made since. At the same time, the course will also cover how many of the assumptions of those that inaugurated public health were completely alien to present-day practitioners–even though in many ways it is a practice that helped inaugurate the modern world so familiar to us. Course participants will learn about the close relationship between public health agencies and agendas and various kinds of social authority: political power, moral influence, colonial power, and others. Ultimately, the aim of the course is to show participants that even though public health seems a supremely common sense practice, it had a highly contested birth and early life that was anything but natural or pre-ordained. That complicated birth continues to shape public health to this day.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-asynchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: June 14 - July 26, 2021

Session: 6 Week Session

Instructor: John Broich

Credits: 3 credits

Department: History

HSTY 396/496: Advanced Topics in History: History of Epidemics

Advanced topics in history, changing from semester to semester. The course provides students an opportunity to explore special themes or theoretical issues in history that are too briefly covered in broader surveys. Students may take this course more than once for credit, when different topics are covered.

This course will look at the history of epidemics and pandemics, focusing on select cases. Topics will include social origins of epidemics, the evolution of scientific responses, stigma and blame, the comparative study of political responses, and long-term social and cultural effects of outbreaks. In most weeks, there will be a choice of readings.

Offered as HSTY 396 and HSTY 496.

This course has been canceled for Summer 2021. 

Dates: June 1 - July 2, 2021

Session: 5 Week Session

Time: MWF 10:30-1:00

Instructor: Jonathan Sadowsky

Credits: 3 credits

Department: History

HSTY/ENGL 145: Utopia, Dystopia, and Scientific Modernity Sixteenth-Century to the Present

A utopia is a dream of a better world; a dystopia is a nightmare of a worse one. Both are fantasies. Yet both respond to the very real technological, political and cultural conditions in which they are written. This multidisciplinary course uses utopian and dystopian literature from the sixteenth century to the present to investigate the rise of scientific modernity and the responses it provoked. Starting with Thomas More’s Utopia, and ending with Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower and a contemporary film, students will read important utopian and dystopian works of fiction and connect them to themes that run through the history of science: the relationship between knowledge and power; the impact of new technologies; voyages of exploration and exploitation; industrialization and forms of production; ideas of gender, race, and class; nuclear power; genetics; and climate change. We encourage students to ask what led to these specific critiques or ideas, and why? What limits or determines the boundaries of the possible or the desirable to each author? And how might these still be relevant today?
Offered as ENGL 145 and HSTY 145.

This course has been canceled for Summer 2021. 

Dates: June 14 - July 26, 2021

Session: 6 Week Session

Time: MWR 10:30-12:30

Instructor: Aviva Rothman & Magdalena Vinter

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: English, History, Interdisciplinary, New 2021 Summer

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