College Of Arts And Sciences | Parasites, Pestilence, and People
E105 | 0201 | Muskavitch


9:30-10:45 TR JH A100
Parasites and pestilence have helped shape human history since the
beginnings of civilization.  This course will provide opportunities for
students to investigate the mechanisms and implications of infectious
diseases from a number of perspectives.  The primary goal of this course
will be involving students in the discovery and understanding of the
biological mechanisms underlying five infectious diseases: plague, smallpox,
malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS.  We will discuss the identification and
transmission of the parasites responsible for each disease, the biological
mechanisms by which each parasite affects human health, and the approaches
our bodies and medicine take to controlling the effects of these parasites
on our well-being.  The secondary goal of this course will be to explore the
public health implications, public policy questions, and ethical issues
associated with each disease, and the impacts each disease has had and
continues to have on human societies.

The course will be presented in a lecture/discussion format, with coverage
of topics arranged in six sections. The last class meeting in each section
will include a "synthesis" session, in which we will summarize the body of
knowledge created during the preceding class meetings in the section, and
discuss the future prospects for the treatment of each disease and its
impacts on society.  Students will be responsible for understanding the
material presented in the "custom course packet" designed of this course,
and for the material presented and discussed during class meetings.  As a
result, students will be expected to attend each class meeting.  Students
should expect to be responsible for an average of 30 pages of reading each
week.  The course grade will be based on the points earned, out of a total
of 250, from a combination of writing assignments including the best two of
three graded take-home comprehension assignments (100 points), the best two
of three graded creative writing assignments (100 points), and the best five
of ten in-class minute papers (50 points).