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

Online - Semester 1 - 2021

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: Associate Professor Katie Barclay

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 3, 4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    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

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The online discussion work, engagement with key research staff, and research led teaching ensure that SGDE is integrated throughout this  course.
  • 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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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