Yale – History of Epidemics in Western Society

The Pierces have watched the session here on pandemic influenza (Swine Flu) and SARS (corona) pandemics.This episode we are going through is not new.  Somehow reassuring to know how the COVID-19 virus seems to fit in with the others.


About the Course

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.