HIST 2097OL - Plagues and Pandemics: Lessons from the past

Online - Semester 1 - 2022

In 2020, CoVid19 stopped the world, closing borders, workplaces, and everyday activities, as humanity attempted to reckon with a disease that threatened the lives of a large part of the population. Yet, if pandemics of this scale are rare, CoVid19 is not unique in world history. Indeed, managing plagues and pandemics has been a critical part of the human experience from the medieval to the modern day. This course explores this history using a series of case studies from the Black Death in the fourteenth century to Aids in the late twentieth century. As well as introducing students to some significant plagues and pandemics, this course explores emotional responses to plague, such as the anxieties of managing disease, fear and scapegoating of those thought to be responsible, the loneliness of isolation, and the grief response to mass death. If pandemics stop the world, they can also enable remarkable social, economic, cultural and scientific change in their aftermath. This course highlights the significant ways humans have sought to transform the world following plagues and pandemics, and how these events have been significant markers of historical change. The key aim of the course is not only to help students better understand their current experiences, but to prepare them for the opportunities that will arise as we move forward into a new world after this latest pandemic .

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HIST 2097OL
    Course Plagues and Pandemics: Lessons from the past
    Coordinating Unit History
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description In 2020, CoVid19 stopped the world, closing borders, workplaces, and everyday activities, as humanity attempted to reckon with a disease that threatened the lives of a large part of the population. Yet, if pandemics of this scale are rare, CoVid19 is not unique in world history. Indeed, managing plagues and pandemics has been a critical part of the human experience from the medieval to the modern day. This course explores this history using a series of case studies from the Black Death in the fourteenth century to Aids in the late twentieth century. As well as introducing students to some significant plagues and pandemics, this course explores emotional responses to plague, such as the anxieties of managing disease, fear and scapegoating of those thought to be responsible, the loneliness of isolation, and the grief response to mass death. If pandemics stop the world, they can also enable remarkable social, economic, cultural and scientific change in their aftermath. This course highlights the significant ways humans have sought to transform the world following plagues and pandemics, and how these events have been significant markers of historical change. The key aim of the course is not only to help students better understand their current experiences, but to prepare them for the opportunities that will arise as we move forward into a new world after this latest pandemic .
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Evan Smith

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. demonstrate understanding of the features, experience and consequences of historical plagues and pandemics;
    display higher order
    2. skills in selecting and analysing primary and secondary materials on this topic;
    3. Communicate proficiently in writing using appropriate technologies;
    4. Apply their knowledge of historical events to contemporary experience.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 4

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    3

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    1, 3, 4

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    1, 3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This course is offered online. Students must have access to a computer or similar device that will allow them to access MyUni and complete activities there. No specialist software or equipment is needed.
    Recommended Resources
    A full set of resources and resource recommendations are available on MyUni. These do not require additional purchasing.
    Online Learning
    This course is entirely online.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught asynchronously online. That means each week 3 hours of structured learning activities are provided online - these will include lectures, activities and discussions - and students work through them at their own pace.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Structured Learning Activities: 3 hours per week (online)
    Independent Reading: 6 hours per week
    Research: 2 hours per week
    Assignment Preparation: 2 hours per week

    Total learning: 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic
    1 Introduction to the topic and course expectations
    2 Plagues and Pandemics Case Study 1 (medieval)
    3 Plagues and Pandemics Case Study 2 (1600-1900)
    4 Plagues and Pandemics Case Study 3 (modern)
    5 What can we do today with historical knowledge?
    6 Pandemic Emotions Case Study 1 (Medieval)
    7 Pandemic Emotions Case Study 2 (1600-1900)
    8 Pandemic Emotions Case Study 3 (modern)
    9 Life after Plagues and Pandemics Case Study 1(Medieval)
    10 Life after Plagues and Pandemics Case Study 2 (Early Modern)
    11 Life after Plagues and Pandemics Case Study 3 (Modern)
    12 Round up of learning and conclusions
    Specific Course Requirements
    N/A

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task  Weighting  Learning Outcomes Assessed
    Reflective exercise 30% 1, 4
    Essay 30% 1, 2, 3
    Research Project 40% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    N/A
    Assessment Detail

    Assessment Task  
    Description  Weighting
    Reflective exercise 1,000 words – a key purpose of this course is to reflect on how historical information
    might be useful today. Students will be encouraged to reflect on this in a
    exercise during the course
    30%
    Essay 1,500 words - historiographical essay, demonstrating knowledge of a major historical
    debate in the field
    30%
    Research Project 2,500 words - research project associated with a plague or pandemic of your choice and
    which addresses one of the major themes of the course
    40%
    Submission
    Submission will be through the MyUni assessment portal.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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