Archaeology, History, Disasters, and Plagues
For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is a novel crisis, unlike anything we've faced before. However, if we look beyond the scope of our lives, we realize that humanity has faced many similar pandemics, plagues, and disasters.
What were the impacts of those events, and how did people respond? Were their responses effective or not, and what can we learn from them? What are some commonly-held myths about these events? How can we make sense of COVID-19 in light of the past?
In this class, you’ll study human reactions to crises of all sorts, from the earliest human records up through the medieval period. You’ll examine case studies, eye-witness accounts, and archaeological finds. With this evidence, you’ll learn to think critically about disasters, and you’ll be well equipped to evaluate the ways we're responding to COVID-19 today.
What you’ll learn
There is no set meeting time for this course. You will have opportunities for live collaboration with the professor and other students. If you choose to audit the course, plan to spend 10-14 hours over the course of three weeks reading, writing, watching videos, and having discussions. You won't be graded. If you are taking the course for academic credit, expect an additional 20 hours of course work. Credit-seekers are awarded a credit on a completed/not-completed basis without a letter grade.
Darrell Rohl is a specialist in life and interaction at the edges of the Roman Empire, comparative borderland dynamics in world history, archaeological theory, and digital tools/methodologies within archaeology, history, and the wider humanities. He is doing active fieldwork and research in Jordan and Britain. He has a special interest in religious traditions during times of great change.