Epidemics & Pandemics

New School for Social Research: Anthropology

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students

Epidemics & Pandemics

Fall 2021

Taught By: Lys Alcayna Stevens

Section: A

CRN: 12765

Credits: 3

This class uses an anthropological lens to examine the historical, cultural, and structural factors which have shaped past and present disease epidemics. Anthropological approaches can help us to understand differences in the risk of infection, morbidity and mortality – and to examine how communities, governments and other institutions respond to disease outbreaks. We will examine both how anthropologists have worked in epidemics (as mediators, experts, critics and translators), and how they think with epidemics to reflect on topical issues, including vaccine hesitancy, quarantine, surveillance, human-animal relations, conspiracy, stigma, and fear. Taking an approach which emphasizes that unequal social structures produce unequal disease exposure and treatment, the course will pay particular attention to colonial regimes and legacies, the dynamics of exploitation and exclusion in global humanitarianism, and gendered and racial inequalities in government responses to epidemics. Readings are drawn primarily from anthropological theory and ethnographic studies, but students are also encouraged to bring news items to class for discussion. We will explore a range of epidemics, including HIV/AIDS, Ebola virus disease (EVD), influenza, sleeping sickness, plague, smallpox, cholera, kuru, Zika, and COVID-19. Students will pursue a final research paper which can include ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, or social media analysis, to reflect theoretically on an ongoing or historical epidemic/pandemic. Note: the course will combine in-person and virtual teaching, alternating weekly.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Anthropology (GANT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:46am 1/20/2022 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Friday

Times: 9:55am - 11:45am

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 518

Date Range: 9/3/2021 - 12/17/2021