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Program in the Humanities

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Contagions Past and Present

June 1-2, 2012

Humans live at the mercy of disease. As social animals, we share living space, food, water, and air. We live at risk of transmitting pathogens and igniting catastrophic contagions. How we respond to disease often reflects broader social and cultural issues lingering beneath our healthy lives. This seminar explores the causes, cures, and social and cultural implications of contagions in several settings. Hunter Gardner will discuss Roman writers whose portrayals of plague spoke to their understanding of the lifecycles of humans and societies. Jehangir Malegam will cover Medieval European plagues and explain why they were such watershed events in Europe’s development. David Weber will apply his medical expertise to consider how accurately films portray disease. Daniel Halperin will analyze the role of Western nations in the transmission of HIV/AIDS in Africa and throughout the world. In the panel session, we will challenge our speakers to apply the lessons of the past to contend with the threat of contagions today.

Topics and Speakers

Representing Plague in Roman Literature
Hunter Gardner, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of South Carolina at Columbia

Medieval Plagues
Jehangir Malegam, Assistant Professor of History, Duke University 

Infectious Diseases in the Movies: Fact or Fiction?
David Jay Weber, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health 

Tinderbox: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Africa and Beyond
Daniel Halperin, Adjunct Associate Professor of Health Education and Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Contagions: Fact, Fiction; Past, Present
A panel discussion with our speakers

Time and Cost

4:30 p.m. Friday, June 1, through 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 2, 2012. The tuition is $125 ($110 by May 23). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($55 by May 23). 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The optional dinner on Friday evening is $20.00.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.

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