University Course Planner The University of Adelaide Australia

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

Career: Undergraduate
Units: 3
Term: Semester 1
Campus: Online
Contact: Up to 3 hours per week
Available for Study Abroad and Exchange: Yes
Available for Non-Award Study: Yes
Assessment: Reflective exercises 30%; Historiographical Essay 30%; Research Project 40%

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 Fees

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Student Status


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Commonwealth supported
Full fee paying

Study Level

Postgraduate Coursework
Non Award

Program of Study

Study Abroad student tuition fees are available here

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Course Outline

A Course Outline which includes Learning Outcomes, Learning Resources, Learning & Teaching for this course may be accessed here

Critical Dates

Term Last Day to Add Online Census Date Last Day to WNF Last Day to WF
Semester 1 Tue 15/03/2022 Thu 24/03/2022 Fri 06/05/2022 Fri 10/06/2022

Class Details

Enrolment Class: Lecture
Class Nbr Section Size Available Dates Days Time Location
16978 01OL 100 6 This class does not have any timetabled face-to-face sessions. Please check MyUni or contact your Course Coordinator for details.