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Contagion and Catastrophe--Disease Research: Home

Disease Research

Assignment in brief


  • Topic
  • Research Question
  • Working bibliography
  • Outline
  • Thesis statement
  • Rough draft
  • Final draft

Possible Diseases:

  • Malaria
  • Smallpox
  • Influenza
  • Cholera
  • Ebola
  • Bubonic plague
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Yellow Fever
  • SARS
  • Polio


Questions to explore/starting points for your research

  1. Disease and politics--rise and fall of empires/countries/peoples (e.g.: Aztecs, Inka, Rome)
  2. Disease and Science/Medicine/Vaccination--how did scientists and doctors discover a treatment/cure for the disease? What steps did they take to find a treatment/cure? What did people think cause the disease?
  3. Specific scientists and their role in combatting disease (e.g.: Walter Reed, Galen, Louis Pasteur)?
  4. Connections between disease and religion? (e.g.: How did Bubonic Plague affect the medieval Catholic Church?
  5. Disease and race/exclusion--how did disease shape ideas about race and ethnicity? How did disease lead to exclusionary practices and "othering"?
  6. How did disease reshape societies? Did it change the economy? Gender relations?
  7. How does disease influence artistic and literary styles? How did artists and authors respond to traumatic incidents of disease?


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