Plagues and People

BSOC2101/ ENTOM2100

Diseases have impacted human lives and society through history.  This course focuses on the pathogens and parasites causing human plagues including flu, typhus, plague and emerging viruses.  Special attention will be paid to those plagues that have had the greatest impact on human culture and expression.  Famous and infamous people involved in the history of disease will be highlighted. Lectures will be supplemented with readings and videos.  The reasons why new pathogens emerge, and the risk of bio-terrorism and future outbreaks also will be addressed.  The main objectives of the course are to provide students with an appreciation of: (1) The basic biology of key pathogens that cause human disease, how are they transmitted, monitored, and controlled; (2) the impact plagues have had on human suffering, society and culture including forms of human expression throughout history to the present day; (3) co-evolution of pathogens, parasites and their vectors; (4) different biological, social and historical perspectives on disease and how diseases are portrayed in the media.

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