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Viewing: ANTHRO 3560W sattenspiell : Plagues and Peoples - Writing Intensive

Last approved: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 19:20:54 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 19:19:51 GMT

Proposal Type

Writing Intensive

Contact Information

Trigos Carrillo
Campus Writing Program
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Campus Writing Program

Term for Proposal

Spring 2017

Course Catalog Information

Anthropology (ANTHRO)
Plagues and Peoples - Writing Intensive
Overview of the ecology of human host-pathogen interactions and the influence of human culture on the transmission and spread of infectious diseases through time and in different environments.
Behavioral Science
A-F (allow student to choose S/U option)
sophomore standing.

Instructor Information

(numbers only)
Tenured Professor
206 Swallow Hall

The Campus Writing Program conducts a two-day faculty workshop to assist with the design and implementation of your writing intensive course. Once your course proposal has been approved by the Campus Writing Program, you will receive information on time, date and location of the workshop.
Indicate below if additional instructors are planned, but specific individuals have not yet been chosen. Check all that apply

Briefly describe the qualifications of the known graduate instructors, or planned qualifications if graduate instructors are still to be selected, bearing in mind that graduate students teaching honors courses should be advanced students with a record of excellent teaching.

Honors Course Information

Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.



Writing Intensive Course Information

This course is a broad overview of the ecology of the human host-pathogen interaction and the influence of human culture and biology on the transmission and geographic spread of infectious diseases through time and in different environments. Studies of the ecology, evolution, and history of specific diseases, such as bubonic plague, smallpox, influenza, yellow fever, and HIV, will be used to illustrate and reinforce general concepts. The following topics will be covered.

Part I. The biology of infectious diseases, including the nature of host-pathogen interactions, infectious disease epidemiology, and the impact of culture on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases.

Part II. Human infectious diseases through time, including diseases in prehistory, domestication of plants and animals and infectious disease patterns, the rise of cities and disease transmission, colonization and changing disease patterns, and the epidemiological transition and beyond.

Part III. The geography of infectious diseases, including global patterns of spread of infectious disease, infectious disease transmission within households, communities, and regions, and GIS and disease.

Part IV. Understanding the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases, including climate change, environmental disruption, and infectious disease, antibiotic resistance, bioterrorism and social inequalities and ethics in infectious disease studies.

In addition to the short papers, a midterm and final exam will be given. The midterm is scheduled in class on (TBD); the final exam will given during the regularly scheduled final exam time on (TBD). These exams will consist of definitions, short answer questions, and two longer essays (1-page per essay, two essays per exam). All exam questions will be drawn from study guides that will be given out during the first week of class (for the midterm) and after the midterm (for the final exam).
This course has worked very well. I do not anticipate any changes other than minor updating of readings and/or content.
Self paced?

Should this course be considered for funding?
Large Enrollment Courses:

Writing Intensive Assignments

Short Paper #1
At the beginning of the semester students are assigned a particular disease to study throughout the semester. They will write three short (3-4 page) papers that focus on information about the assigned disease that is relevant to topics discussed in class (see below for paper guidelines). All papers will consist of a first draft (40 points) and a revision (60 points), with the revision of the final paper optional for students who score high enough on the first draft.

Short Paper # 1: Write a 3-4 page paper on the biology related to the pathogen and/or other major causes of your assigned disease as well as the characteristics of the disease itself. Make sure your paper is a well-written, cohesive essay that informs your friends and family about the most essential information about the pathogen. For the purposes of this paper, assume your audience doesn't have a strong background in biology -- in other words, make sure you clearly explain all technical concepts in language an intelligent junior high school student could understand. Include at least the following topics (others are possible): mode of transmission, stages of the infection process with symptoms and length, identity and characteristics of the causal organism and/or other major causes, who gets sick and why, rates of mortality, treatment and prognosis. Make sure you discuss and explain each topic you address -- sketchy answers will help neither your intended audience nor your grade. (First draft due in mid-February, revision due in late February/early March; evaluated by both TA and instructor to ensure consistent grading standards)
Length of assignment:
TA and instructor
TA and instructor

Short Paper #2
Paper #2 Option 1: Write a 3-4 page paper on the history of your assigned disease. Discuss when the disease was discovered and/or recognized and by whom, how long it has been present in human populations, and the history of attempts to deal with the disease. For some diseases the history may extend far back into the human past, for others the history may be only a few years or decades. Cover the known time span of your disease in your paper. (First draft due in early April, revision due in mid-April; evaluated by TA with instructor input)

Paper #2, Option 2: Write a 3-4 page paper on the geographic distribution of your assigned disease. Discuss the global distribution of your disease and reasons for that distribution, the kinds of social and ecological factors that influence where your disease is found within a community and how it spreads at that level, and the factors influencing within household transmission. You may find that there is more information about some of these levels of transmission than others, but make sure you address each one, even if there is little direct information. Support your ideas about the disease\'s distribution with references to relevant scholarly sources if possible, but if this is not possible then come up with original ideas that are based on your knowledge of the biology and history of the disease, with relevant citations to those sources. Of course, original supported ideas are always welcome, even if you are able to identify appropriate sources. (First draft due in early April, revision due in mid-April; evaluated by TA with instructor input)
Length of assignment:
TA with instructor input
TA with instructor input

Short Paper #3
Paper #3: Pick a current topic of relevance to your assigned disease. The topic can be just about anything related to the disease, but it must be one that has been the focus of active research during the 21st century. Thus, at least 2 of your sources (out of at least 3-4 references) must be journal articles with publication dates in the 21st century and should discuss recent research, not just historical or background information. Write a 3-4 page paper on your chosen topic. Focus on the topic itself, but make sure you include a BRIEF explanation of why you chose that topic and why it is interesting and important. (First draft due in late April, revision due on last day of class; evaluated by TA with instructor input)
Length of assignment:
TA with instructor input
TA with instructor input

Pamphlet/fact sheet
II. Pamphlet/fact sheet (Draft 20 points, Revision 30 points)
Use the information collected for Paper # 1 to prepare a pamphlet or fact sheet on your assigned disease. The pamphlet/fact sheet should be 1 page (front and back), should be written at a level that would be interesting to and understood by junior high aged students, and should include pertinent illustrations. Provide as much information about your disease as you think is necessary in order for the students to gain a basic understanding of what the disease is, where it is found, how it is transmitted, and how it is treated. Include also a section on where a reader can go to learn more about the disease. Creativity is a plus, as long as the essential content is present. Remember also that pamphlets usually present a significant amount of information in a limited number of words and often use illustrations to communicate essential ideas in an interesting way. (First draft due in mid-February, revision due in late February/early March; evaluated by both TA and instructor to ensure consistent grading standards)
Length of assignment:
TA and instructor
TA and instructor

Total pages for all assignments:
First drafts:
III. Written exams
This class also includes written midterm and final exams (50 points each), each of which include 5 short answer questions (2-3 sentences) and 2 essays of 1-page each. This writing is not revised. (Graded by the instructor)

Writing Intensive Teaching

Instructor provided feedback
Peer review
The course looks at infectious diseases from a variety of contrasting as well as complementary perspectives, including biological, environmental, historical, geographic, social, public health, political, and economic, and the papers require that students integrate insights from these different arenas. Students are asked to evaluate the literature on their assigned disease, and they are required to synthesize material from multiple sources to come up with their own interpretations of that information. The process of conducting research for the papers will help students develop the ability to critically consider the usefulness and reliability of information sources. They are required to use internet as well as "library" sources on infectious diseases for their papers, but must learn to evaluate the quality of the material they find and use only high quality information from reputable sources.
As the due dates listed above indicate, papers and exams are distributed across the semester, with a paper or exam due every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.
The course will have at least one TA who is familiar with the epidemiology of infectious diseases, chosen from Dr. Sattenspiel's graduate students. TAs who have not already attended a WI workshop are expected to participate in one before the course starts. The TA and instructor will jointly grade the first paper and pamphlet to make sure the grading is consistent.

Course Syllabus

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Administrative Information

Education and Social Sciences


I have read and reviewed the updated proposal

Additional Comments

Campus Writing Program (muascwp) (Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:30:08 GMT): Assignments Separated 9.13.16 EAS
Patricia Luckenotte (luckenottep) (Thu, 06 Oct 2016 19:19:51 GMT): I have added ANTHRO 3560W, 01 to the Spring 2017 schedule of classes and cancelled ANTHRO 3560 from Spring 2017.
Key: 16