Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600: A Free Online Course from Yale University

From Yale Uni­ver­si­ty comes an unfor­tu­nate­ly time­ly course, Epi­demics in West­ern Soci­ety Since 1600Record­ed before the out­break of COVID-19, the 25 lec­ture course, pre­sent­ed by his­to­ri­an Frank Snow­den, cov­ers the fol­low­ing ground:

This course con­sists of an inter­na­tion­al analy­sis of the impact of epi­dem­ic dis­eases on west­ern soci­ety and cul­ture from the bubon­ic plague to HIV/AIDS and the recent expe­ri­ence of SARS and swine flu. Lead­ing themes include: infec­tious dis­ease and its impact on soci­ety; the devel­op­ment of pub­lic health mea­sures; the role of med­ical ethics; the genre of plague lit­er­a­ture; the social reac­tions of mass hys­te­ria and vio­lence; the rise of the germ the­o­ry of dis­ease; the devel­op­ment of trop­i­cal med­i­cine; a com­par­i­son of the social, cul­tur­al, and his­tor­i­cal impact of major infec­tious dis­eases; and the issue of emerg­ing and re-emerg­ing dis­eases.

You can watch the lec­tures on YouTube above, or on iTunes (VideoAudio). You can also read Snow­den’s relat­ed book: Epi­demics and Soci­ety: From the Black Death to the Present.

If you want to hear what Snow­den has to say about COVID-19, we have two inter­views below.

Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) Update: Epi­demics in His­to­ry

How Will COVID-19 Change the World? His­to­ri­an Frank Snow­den on Epi­demics From the Black Death to Now

Epi­demics in West­ern Soci­ety Since 1600 will be added to our list of Free Online His­to­ry cours­es, a sub­set of our meta­col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The His­to­ry of the Plague: Every Major Epi­dem­ic in an Ani­mat­ed Map

The His­to­ry of the 1918 Flu Pan­dem­ic, “The Dead­liest Epi­dem­ic of All Time”: Three Free Lec­tures from The Great Cours­es

Why You Should Read The Plague, the Albert Camus Nov­el the Coro­n­avirus Has Made a Best­seller Again

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.