In the particular hot summer of 1793, yellow fever hit the city of Philadelphia, killed 10 percent of its population and caused an even larger part to flee the city. That the source of this deadly disease was a mosquito was unimaginable to most, thus wild speculations began to who was to blame. When the typhoid fever appeared in New York City in the early 20th century, an Irish immigrant became known in popular narratives as Typhoid Mary for spreading the disease. As a comic character of the marvel universe, she made her reappearance in the 1980s when HIV AIDS was spreading. These are just few examples of diseases and their cultural impact that will play a role in this class. While our focus is on humans, we will also think about the Dutch Elm disease that caused the death of millions of trees in the United States thus shifting the focus at times.
Please purchase Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and Aids and Its Metaphors (Penguin Modern Classics).
All other readings will be provided on Stud.IP.