Micro 3704


HIV: From Microbiology to Macrohistory

Credit Hour(s): 3 Units
Instructor(s): Kwiek, McDow
Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): English 1110
Role in Microbiology Major: Group 1 Elective
Additional Information: Cross-listed in History

Lecture Topics:

  • HIV- basic virology
  • HIV- pathogenesis
  • Africa and African History
  • Deep African History and Bantu Migration
  • Primary sources, African History, and 19th Century Science
  • Koch and Hypothesis testing
  • Scramble for Africa
  • Agency, Sex Work, and the Colonial Economy
  • Colonial Economies of E and S Africa
  • Origins of HIV
  • Colonial Health to Global Health
  • HIV Spreads to the USA
  • The ethics of prevention of HIV mother-to-child transmission
  • National contexts and Responses to HIV (Uganda, Thailand, S. Africa)
  • HIV and the pharmaceutical industry
  • HIV prevention: Male Circumcision
  • HIV Today

Learning Objectives:

This course examines the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as both a scientific phenomenon and a historical entity. The course is interdisciplinary and encourages students to take intellectual risks in asking questions and trying to learn new methodologies. The course aspires to convey broad and differing perspectives as a means of demonstrating the interconnectivity of scientific and humanistic learning. To do this, the course has five specific learning goals drawn from history and from microbiology:

  • Students acquire a perspective on the history of HIV and an understanding of the factors that have shaped the evolution, progression, and treatment of the virus.
  • Students display knowledge about the origins and nature of contemporary scientific, medical, and social issues and develop a foundation for comparative understanding of other diseases.
  • Students think, speak, and write critically about primary and secondary historical sources. Students will examine diverse interpretations of past events related to the history of science, tropical medicine, political formulations, and economic structures in their historical contexts.
  • Students understand evolutionary processes of viruses, the diversity within HIV, and how the forms of this virus have impacted their environment, including their roles in human health and disease.
  • Students acquire the ability to appraise scientific data related to HIV/AIDS presented in the popular press for accuracy and scientific merit and understand issues and ethical conflicts associated with applications of biotechnology. 


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