“These are unprecedented times.” This has become a common phrase used to describe the COVID-19 crisis, but is our experience truly unprecedented? In this course, we will examine three of the most devastating epidemics in American history: Yellow Fever in the 1790s, Spanish Flu in 1918, and HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. Using historical accounts as well as various imaginative representations, we will consider the social, medical, and governmental responses to the outbreaks and the subsequent effects on “American” identity.
Readings: M.K. Czerwiec, Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371
This seminar-style course has limited enrollment to allow small group discussion.