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Wilfrid Laurier University Laurier Brantford
April 23, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

CT203 -- Disease & Society



This course examines human health and disease from antiquity to the present. Relevant studies in epidemiology, bioarchaeology, anthropology, and history will be used to build a long-term picture of trends in health and disease and the role of epidemic disease in the transformation of human societies on a global scale.

LECTURES FOR FALL 2013
Wednesdays & Fridays, 2:30-3:50PM, RCW002

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course examines human health and disease from the origin of humans to the present day. Reading, lectures, and audio-visual presentations will present a history of health and disease, demonstrating how biology, environment, and society influence our vulnerability to illness. Attention will be paid to the historical role of epidemic disease in the transformation of human societies on a global scale, the emergence of new diseases, and the potential return of past scourges. As well, consideration will be given to the state of medical knowledge at the time of specific disease outbreaks.

EVALUATION
1.    Midterm test -- 25% (October 9th)
2.    Term Paper -- 25%
3.    Final exam -- 50%

or

1.    Midterm Test -- 50% (October 9th)
2.    Final Exam -- 50%

TEXT
Sherman, Irwin W. (2006) The Power of Plagues. Washington, D.C.: ASM Press.

OPTIONAL TERM PAPER
Students may choose to undertake research resulting in a term paper concerned with some facet of the disease-society relationship in an historical context. These papers, approximately five pages in length (typed, double-spaced, 12 point font, approximate one inch margins), are to be highly-focussed, and issue-oriented. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, epidemic disease, health and economic change (linked to the rise of agriculture, industrialization, urbanization, or the role of the welfare state, for example), health and social organization, the health implications of environmental change, biological warfare, bioterrorism, and medical innovations.

Anyone who submits a term paper that refers to Africa as a country or other socio-political, economic, or cultural monolith will receive a mark of zero on the assignment.  Likewise, anyone who submits a term paper that refers to the occupants of the continent of Africa as "African-Americans" will receive a mark of zero on the assignment.

Papers will be evaluated with respect to style (10 marks), content (10 marks), and quality of references used (5 marks). Style marks will be allocated based on the quality and effectiveness of the writing (grammar, punctuation, appropriate use of paragraph breaks, organization, etc.). Content marks will be allocated based on the focus and effectiveness of the argument made, position taken, or issue described.

Quality references from peer-reviewed sources should be used in the first instance. Internet sources should be used sparingly, if at all, and citations from Wikipedia or other encyclopaedias should not be used under any circumstances. Doing so will result in a mark of zero for the five marks allocated to quality of references.

Students choosing to write a term paper are required to submit the paper prior to the beginning of the final exam.


LECTURE TOPICS

Infectious disease: Plague, Pox & Pestilence (Chapter 1)

An Introduction to Infection and Immunity (Part One)

An Introduction to Infection and Immunity (Part Two) (Chapter 10)

Infectious Disease in the Distant Past: From Human Origins to the Rise of Agriculture (Chapter 2)

Health & Disease in the Ancient World (Chapter 3)

The Black Death (Chapter 4)

Typhus and Other Reasons to Resent the Potato (Famine) (Chapter 6)

Of Mosquitoes and Malaria (Chapter 7)

Cholera: Don't Drink the Water (and Other Ways to Not Get Sick) (Chapter 8)

No Small Pox: Or, Why Milk Maids had Skin to Die for; Hello New World: The Columbian Exchange (Chapter 9)

Everybody’s Doing it: Syphilis (Chapter 12)

The White Plague: Tuberculosis (Chapter 13)

Influenza: Why Chickens have that Look in their Eyes? (Chapter 17) 

HIV/AIDS (Chapter 5)