HIST 627: Disasters in History

HIST 627-001: Disasters in History
(Fall 2022)

07:20 PM to 10:00 PM W

Research Hall 201

View in the schedule of classes

Section Information for Fall 2022

What constitutes a “disaster”? What do changing explanations of the causes and costs of disasters, and differing responses to them, tell us about the larger contours of history? This readings-based seminar will examine disasters, in the U.S. and elsewhere, as lived experiences and cultural constructions from the medieval plagues to the hurricanes, wild fires, and industrial disasters of the modern era.

Our discussions will proceed from three assumptions informed by the inter-disciplinary field of Disaster Studies: that even so-called natural disasters are never entirely “natural;” that storms, flood, volcanic eruptions and other unfortunate events become “disasters” only when they intersect with human lives; and that case studies of disasters provide compelling insights into their larger cultural and social contexts.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Examines disasters as lived experiences and cultural constructions from the seventeenth century to the industrial era. Presents so-called natural disasters as partly the result of human agency. Shows how that storms, fires, and other unfortunate events become “disasters” only when they intersect with human lives. Uses case studies of disasters to explore their larger cultural and social contexts. (Chronological fields: US pre-1861, US 1861-1914, US since 1914, Europe pre-1789, Europe 1789-1914, Europe since 1914, LatAm/Caribbean) May not be repeated for credit.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Junior Plus, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

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