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Since the Centers for Disease Control first became aware of several bizarre illnesses killing young gay men in 1981, over 600,000 people have died of complications resulting from AIDS in the United States, and 39 million people have died around the globe. This writing-intensive class will examine the first 20 years of the pandemic, 1981-2001, focusing specifically on the United States’ response to what quickly became the biggest public health crisis of the late 20th century. We will read, research, and write about the epidemiological, ethical, medical, social, cultural, religious, economic, political, and emotional dimensions of the disease, demonstrating again what author Cindy Patton once wrote: “No story of AIDS has ever been adequate.” By the time you have completed this course—not only will you know a great deal more about HIV/AIDS than you used to—you will also feel comfortable navigating complex theories and using your knowledge of the past to inform your understanding of the present. At the end of this course, you students will be able to:
- Discuss—in class and in analytical essays—the role that forces including (but not limited to) the state, race, class, and gender play in constructing disease.
- Analyze and integrate multiple primary and secondary sources into a synthetic research essay.
- Demonstrate their understanding of the course themes by designing a week of the syllabus.
(Summer Session I, 2016)
This course will provides a (very fast!) overview of 20th century U.S. history, with a special eye toward the people and stories that are all-too-often left out of our national narrative. This course is designed not only to fulfill your 40C requirement, but also to help you practice skills that will serve you well whatever direction you choose to take your college career. You will leave this class able to:
- Engage in respectful and analytically rigorous discussion of the course materials
- Write synthetic and research-based essays that express complicated ideas in your own words
- Work with a variety of primary sources including texts, film, and images.
You might even have a little bit of fun along the way!