1. Introduction to the Course
Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600 (HIST 234) Epidemics, or high-impact infectious diseases, have had an historical impact equal to that of wars, revolutions and economic crises. This course looks at the various ways in which these diseases have affected societies in Europe and North America from 1600 to the present. Contrary to optimistic mid-twentieth-century predictions, epidemic diseases still pose a major threat to human well-being. Diseases will be considered not only in their biological effects, but also as social, political and cultural phenomena. Attention will therefore be given to the different forms of human response to epidemics, from medical science to artistic representations. 00:00 - Chapter 1. The Historical Importance of Epidemics 09:28 - Chapter 2. Themes of the Course 18:48 - Chapter 3. Humoralism and Bubonic Plague Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2010.