Health and Disease in World History


Health and disease are universal human experiences, yet vary profoundly across time and place. Extending from ancient times to the present, this course surveys that variety from a global perspective. We will explore medical traditions from around the world, then examine how these responded to major epidemic diseases such as the Black Death. We will study the globalization of disease and the emergence of scientific medicine after 1450, then turn to the interrelated histories of health and disease in the modern era. Throughout, we will attend carefully to how the biological aspects of health and disease have shaped world history, while at the same time exploring the powerful mediating role of social, cultural, economic, and political factors--from religious beliefs and dietary practices to inequality, poverty, empire, and war--in determining the myriad ways in which health and disease have been experienced and understood. This course satisfies the Introductory Survey requirement for the history major and minor. Discussion section is required.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; CFH MH