• Academic Credits: 3
  • SAS Core: HST
  • Mode of Instruction: Lecture
  • Syllabus: F23 Syllabus

    Syllabus Disclaimer:  The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

  • Course Description

    This course examines the histories of accidents and disasters in the United States and the world from the 17th to the 21st centuries, with particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Although accidents and disasters are often understood as isolated, rare events, they have been continuously important to the history of the United States and the world for the past four centuries. Through efforts to anticipate hazards, develop new tools for risk management, build infrastructures for relief, expand government capacity for disaster response, and remember victims, accidents and disasters have become increasingly central to everyday life in the United States. To study accidents and disasters, we will draw on topics and methods from environmental history, the history of science and technology, and the history of capitalism, as well as political, social, and cultural history. We will explore the material and ecological dimensions of disaster alongside shifting cultural
    meanings of catastrophe.