A History of Epidemics from the Plague to Zika (HIH1027)
|Staff||Dr Dora Vargha - Lecturer|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
The aim of the module is to introduce students to the broad range of sources available to the modern historian through study of the history of epidemics from a cultural, social, political and medical perspective. Individual seminars (see topic list below) will focus on various sources, such as government records, photographs, memoirs, oral history interviews, advertisements, letters, newspaper articles, films, and objects. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct their own research into these sources, consider their value and limitations, and use them to explore particular topics and themes. This module will help students develop skills in source analysis and research to provide a foundation for future historical work.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and assess the main developments in the history of epidemics, the body and medicine
- 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of epidemics, the body and medicine.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. Write to a very tight word-length.
Weekly seminar topics may vary, but may include: the Black Death; The New World and an exchange of diseases; Empire and Epidemics; Choleric states; Sex and the City; Consumption; Eradicate! Yellow Fever, smallpox and malaria in the 20th century; Crossing the Iron Curtain – polio in the Cold War; global epidemics and international health organizations; Zika - Regulating the unknown.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module.|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week.|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term.|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments.|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period.|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period.|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
- Rosenberg, Charles. "What Is an Epidemic? Aids in Historical Perspective." Daedalus 118, no. 2 (1989): 1-17.
- Slack, Paul. “Responses to plague in early modern Europe: The implications of public health” in Arien Mack, ed. In Time of Plague: The history and social consequences of lethal epidemic disease. NYU Press, 1991
- The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas. Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 24, Number 2—Spring 2010
- S. Bhattacharya, ‘Re-devising Jennerian Vaccines?: European Technologies, Indian Innovation and the Control of Smallpox in South Asia, 1850-1950’, in Biswamoy Pati and Mark Harrison (eds), Health, 8 Medicine and Empire: Perspectives on Colonial India (Orient Longman Limited and Sangam Books, 2001)
- Coleman, William. "Epidemiological Method in the 1860s: Yellow Fever at Saint- Nazaire." Bulletin for the History of Medicine 58, no. 2 (1984): 145.
- Jeff Sahadeo, "Epidemic and Empire: Ethnicity, Class, and "Civilization" in the 1892 Tashkent Cholera Riot", Slavic Review, 64, 1 (2005)
- Hall, Lesley A., Sex, Sin and Suffering. Venereal Disease and European Society since 1870 (2001)
- Luise White, "Tsetse visions: Narratives of Blood and Bugs in Colonial Northern Rhodesia, 1931-39," Journal of African History, 36, 2 (1995)
- Saul Benison, "International medical cooperation: Dr. Albert Sabin, live poliovirus vaccine and the Soviets," Bulletin of the history of medicine 56 (1982)
- Michael Worboys, 'From Heredity to Infection: Tuberculosis, Bacteriology and Medicine, 1870-1900' in his Spreading Germs, Cambridge University Press, 2000
- Packard, R. M. ""No Other Logical Choice": Global Malaria Eradication and the Politics of International Health in the Post-War Era." Parassitologia 40, no. 1/2 (1998): 217-30.
- N. B. King, 'Security, Disease, Commerce: Ideologies of Post-Colonial Global Health', Social Studies of Science, 32 (2002)
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Key words search
Epidemics, global health, disease, state, disability, medical history, history of science