Confronting Epidemics: Perspectives from History, Ethics, and the Arts, University of Virginia School of Medicine (Marcia Day Childress PhD)
Confronting Epidemics—Perspectives from History, Ethics, and the Arts. This two-week, six-module course was created and offered at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, 23 March-3 April 2020. The required multidisciplinary course explores historical and contemporary societal, ethical, and artistic responses to selected epidemics of infectious or contagious disease, particularly responses to the plague, including the Black Death in medieval and early modern Europe, cholera outbreaks in 19th century England and elsewhere, the 1918 global influenza pandemic, and HIV/AIDS in the late 20th century, with lessons for the current Covid-19 crisis and beyond. Every module addresses circumstances of and responses to these disease outbreaks, each of which transformed medical, social, political, and cultural institutions and perspectives. Each module also invites reflection on the professional and personal impact and implications of what participants are learning. The modules are: Module 1: Introduction to epidemics, including historical overview, and to the approach of this course; Module 2: Plague, including the Black Death, in Europe; Module 3: Cholera in the 19th Century; Module 4: 1918 Global Influenza Pandemic; Module 5: HIV/AIDS in the United States; and Module 6: Covid-19 and Beyond.