From Black Death, syphilis, and fevers to AIDS, SARS and chronic disease, this unit of study requires students to systematically explore the major critical perspectives on public health by examining its history. Most public health policy and practice is in fact determined by the traditions, ideas, values and practices that developed in the past. Students will gain an understanding of how how different forms of evidence have been constructed for different public health policies, and able to identify the social and cultural correlates of shifts in medical and health concepts over time. They will also learn to situate developments in public health in relation to macro political and economic determinants, as they explore how public health and colonial and State power co-developed and how these alliances and power structures continue to be reflected today in the Emerging Infectious Diseases worldview. Students will be able to offer explanations both of what drives change and paradigm shifts in public health policy and practice and of the effects of underlying long term continuities in approaches to public health. Students will be required to use their knowledge to develop self-reflexive critical assessments of the ethical commitments they want to guide their own practice and that of contemporary public health policy.
1x 2 hr seminar weekly or online response to readings
2x 3000 word essay (100%)