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Signature Courses

Understanding COVID-19: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Understanding COVID-19

Understanding COVID-19: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

01:450:280 (4 credits) Core: CCO
Professor Nathaniel Gabriel, Geography



Until 2020, that sounded like a word for the history books.

We might have asked ourselves: could there be another worldwide epidemic spread over multiple countries and continents?

Now, we know we have so much to learn about what creates the conditions for a pandemic.

COVID-19 is a virus. We know the coronavirus is a biological, or even an ecological, phenomenon. Yet understanding a pandemic takes an interdisciplinary lens that incorporates biology, ecology, politics, economics, and culture, among other disciplines. To understand the pandemic is to explore how economic structures and relationships influence disease transmission and treatment; how politics influences science communication and public response; how culture shapes our perception of risk; and how global trade influences virus evolution.

This course explores the coronavirus pandemic as a socioecological phenomenon that incorporates both the biophysical nature of the disease and the social conditions in which it emerges and proliferates.

Students from all schools and disciplines are welcome to sign up for Understanding COVID-19. The course carries credit towards the major and minor in Geography, major and minor in Environmental Studies, and the minor in International and Global Studies. Understanding COVID-19 can be used to meet SAS Core Curriculum goals in Contemporary Challenges [CCO].