Outbreaks and the Anthropology of Emerging Disease

3 credits


College of Arts and Science

Human-environment interactions, and biocultural responses to illness profoundly impact the ways in which diseases evolve, emerge, and spread. Similarly, cultural responses to disease processes can have profound impacts on the evolution of cultural traits. This course will explore the role of humans and cultural variation in emerging infectious diseases and disease outbreaks by focusing on the origins, emergence, spread, and response to Ebola, HIV, COVID-19 and others. Additionally this course will explore the cultural evolution of resistance to treatment of infectious disease, including vaccine hesitancy in industrialized and developing countries, as well as stigma, misinformation, and distrust that often accompanies disease outbreaks. By focusing on the interplay between culture and ecology, this course will highlight the power of anthropological perspectives to understand human health in the context of contemporary infectious diseases. Graded on A-F basis only.