Photo: Markus Spiske

English, History, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Pandemic courses offer global perspectives

November 27, 2020
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Interested in learning more about how pandemics, health, and disease have been experienced, managed, and represented in the past and the present? Faculty in FASS are offering Spring 2021 courses addressing how literature has represented plague and pandemics, how public health is managed in a global economy, and the environmental history of modern disease.

English 121-3: From Plague to Covid: Literatures of Pandemic
Team-taught course featuring an all-star cast of English faculty members

Explore how English literature engages with, reflects, and interrogates pandemic disease, starting with the “Black Death” in the fourteenth-century and moving through contemporary literary responses to pandemic crises. Students will be introduced to the literature of disease and contagion across time periods, literary genres, and cultural traditions. Prerequisites: None.

GSWS 321-4: Panic, Pandemics, Poverty
Instructor: Dr Vaibhav Saria


Study the historical and contemporary challenges to public health in a globalized world. We will examine the history of global health and show the transformations that have taken place in both institutions and ideas about how to think of health in an increasingly connected world.Prerequisites: 15 units.

History 432-4: Problems in Environmental History
Instructor: Dr Joseph Taylor


COVID is in our heads, so this iteration of HIST 432 explores the geography and history of modern disease, defined as the era shaped by industrialization and global transportation. Students will also extend their knowledge in smaller teams by studying and reporting on an additional health event every two weeks. Prerequisites: 45 units including nine units of lower division history.