From Yale University comes an unfortunately timely course, Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600. Recorded 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 (Video – Audio). 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
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