Is That Contagious: Disease in Culture
From the black plague to the apocalyptic zombie invasion to the SARS and H1N1 epidemics, we have used disease to understand our relationships to society and to others. This course investigates the cultural paranoia of infection in visual and media culture. We study novels and films such as Blindness, Dawn of the Dead, and 28 Days Later, as well as recent media responses to the World Health Organization and the borders of disease. We confront questions such as: How do the ethics of quarantine translate into racial intolerance? Is the fear of contagion related to possession? Are we judged by the diseases we contract, or by how we handle ourselves in times of widespread infection and crisis?