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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2006

HIS 365G • Hlth & Disease in Amer Hist-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39010 -TBA


Course Description

Do natural disasters have a cultural history? Has the experience of epidemics like the flu, yellow fever or AIDS changed American culture? Has technological change shaped American reactions to the threat of disease? Has an American obsession with fitness made for a healthier country? Could social movements like antislavery and abolition, American expansionism, woman suffrage, the labor movement, civil rights, and third world liberation have an impact on health or illness? Students will read, research and test the assumption that health and disease shaped the conditions and the culture of American history.  The contested nature of 'health and disease' is the basis for this seminar in historical research.  Moreover, the terms of the relationships between health and society are open to further research. 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement for American history.

Grading Policy

This is the section where I assign percentages to "assigned readings," written assignments, and participation. This is how I will assign grades. Assigned Readings: 15% Written Assignments: 70% Participation: 15% Your grade for the assigned readings will be based on your weekly participation in the seminar. This evaluation includes attendance, on-line discussion and engagement with the content and themes of the course. The grade for the written assignments breaks down in the following fashion. Primary Source Analysis: 15% Research Proposal: 15% Visual Analysis/presentation: 10% First Draft: 25% Research Presentation: 10% Final Paper: 25% Your participation grade is multi-factorial. Among other things, this is where improvement in quality of your work is calculated. The other factors include but are not limited to attendance, timeliness, mutual respect, mutual support, engagement and active listening.


Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS as Metaphor (NY: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1989) Charles Rosenberg, The Cholera Years: The United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987) Sharla Fett, Working Cures: Healing, Health and Power on Southern Slave Plantations, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002) Pablo Mitchell, Coyote Nation: Sexuality, Race, and Conquest in Modernizing New Mexico, 1880-1920} Martin Pernick, The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of "Defective" babies in Medicine and American Motion Pictures Since 1915 Laura Briggs, Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002) Allan Brandt, No Magic Bullet: A Social History of VD in the 20th Century Course Packet Public Access to Reading Materials I have placed every book on physical reserve. In some cases, I have placed my personal copy of the book on reserve. I have also placed a number of books that will be crucial to further research on reserve. The list of books is in an appendix at the end of this syllabus. I have found that the best way to access this material when you are off campus is through Blackboard.


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