Instructor: Yan Slobodkin
Meeting time: Monday, 3:00-5:00 pm
As Covid 19 continues to dominate our historical moment, the pandemic has provoked culture wars over personal behavior, political fights over policy and funding, and sharp inequalities of care along national, economic, and racial divides. For the past few years, we have all felt hopeful optimism and then disappointed realism about the latest medical breakthrough, initial concern followed by compassion fatigue, and a widespread sense of helplessness in the face of an unrelenting virus. These dynamics at the intersection of culture, society, medicine, and public health also defined a different global pandemic caused by a different novel virus: HIV. This course considers the global history and literature of HIV/AIDS from its emergence in the 1980s to the present day. It will touch on the wide confluence of topics brought together by the virus, including science and medicine, public health, humanitarianism and philanthropy, postcolonial history, immigration, and LGBTQ culture. Primary readings will include medical and public health texts, memoirs and biographies, fiction, art, and films from across the globe.