Look for the catalog of 2020-21IntroSems to roll out here in August.
Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Pandemics & Plagues: Biological Causes and Societal Effects
Massive scale infections or plagues often occur, affecting millions of individuals for a number of years or quickly killing thousands. In this seminar, we will examine infectious agents and the plagues they caused through both biological and societal lenses. To provide framework for our explorations, the course will begin with a very brief overview of the principles of microbiology and immunology. We will proceed to inspecting biological causes and social responses to “Black Death”, cholera, the 1918 influenza pandemic, polio, and the ongoing HIV pandemic. The course will conclude with similar looks at some infectious agents likely to cause new pandemics.