Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This class explores the relationship between science and literature, particularly the relationship between viruses, culture, and text. By focusing on one aspect of the natural world, viruses, we will develop a sophisticated understanding of these minute and deadly antagonists. Then, we will critically engage with an array of texts including fiction, essays, science journalism, and science fiction.
Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future. Michael Oldstone (2009)
They Came Like Swallows. William Maxwell (1937)
Pale Horse Pale Rider. Katherine Anne Porter (1939)
Darwin’s Radio. Greg Bear (2000)
The Hot Zone. Richard Preston (1999)
The Last Town on Earth. Thomas Mullen (2006)
American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. Nancy Bristow (2012)
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Assignments in this course will likely include two papers and a final exam. Supplementary credit-bearing activities will be voluntary. No specialized scientific background is necessary for this course—the basics of virology and the history of viruses will be introduced.