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2020, an unprecedented year, or was it? Not so much, say Dr. Steven Field, Clinical Ethics Consultant, NYU Langone Health and Ms. Shirley Lazar, literature scholar and educator. They have been team-teaching about years like 2020 for the better part of a decade. Origins - a brief introduction to the various pathogens which have plagued humanity, followed by a study of plagues in the ancient world, their infl uence on society, and their representation in theater, literature, and art. The Middle Ages and Beyond - the Black Death through to the end of the 17th century. The effects of plague on politics and society will be reviewed. Students will read excerpts from the so-called “plague literature” of the time. Other pandemics, including the several cholera pandemics, and the eff ects of measles and smallpox on the colonization of the Americas, will be covered as well.
The Contemporary World - the Great Infl uenza Pandemic of 1918 and its foreshadowing of the current COVID pandemic. A discussion of HIV and the profound changes in culture, ethics, and law which it brought about will follow, and the rest of the class will be devoted to COVID- 19 and the ethical implications of a modern pandemic.
*Note: Class sessions are several weeks apart.
INSTRUCTOR: Shirley Lazar & Dr. Steven Field
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