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79-211 Disaster! Fires, Plagues, Hurricanes and Floods in American History

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Unlike technological catastrophes, such as the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, natural disasters appear to be random and outside human control. This course questions that assumption; we explore the "unnatural" history of natural disasters by examining the history of fires, diseases, floods, and earthquakes in North America. We will ask how the material causes of "natural disaster" have changed and examine how Americans have been affected differently according to their race, class, ethnicity, and gender. In addition to understanding the human experience of natural disaster, we will also explore how popular culture has imagined disaster. We will examine plagues, fires, and floods in detailed historical context and we will use this knowledge to think about disasters that face our culture now and in the future.

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Rank for this semester:#193
Rank in this department:#6

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  Spring 2005 times

Sec Time Day Instructor Location  
A 6:30 - 9:20 pm T Keller TBD TBD Add course to my schedule

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