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SHS8128 : Diseases in History

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Elizabeth Schlappa
  • Lecturer: Dr Samiksha Sehrawat, Dr Laura Tisdall, Professor Violetta Hionidou, Professor Jeremy Boulton
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to deepen students’ understanding of history of medicine by examining how
diseases have been socially and historically constructed. Seminars will introduce students in the
varied ways the various in which diseases have been perceived over different periods in history, how
epidemic and endemic diseases have shaped societies across the world. In addition, students from
medical humanities and history will be exposed to different sources and methods used to study
diseases, whether infectious, chronic, ‘fashionable’, or epidemic. This module aims to deepen the
methodological and historiographical skills of students in analysing diverse primary sources.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics may include:
Approaches to the History of Disease
Children's Diseases
Disease and the Environment
Fashionable/Unfashionable Diseases
Nervous Diseases and Neurasthenia
Occupational Diseases
Venereal Disease
Yellow Fever

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion801:0080:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading401:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:0010 2-hour seminars delivered as PIP sessions.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Seminar - Introduction to module - PIP
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study401:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time20:301:00Essay supervision & feedback (1-2-1 drop-in meetings with supervisees given online via Zoom/Teams)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral communication, problem-solving skills and adaptability. They encourage students to share ideas and information and develop a sense of common identity as historians before they undertake individual and more specialised advanced research projects.Seminars will also consolidate the learning progress from weekly readings by enabling students to focus on connected issues and material in greater depth. Seminars will be student-led andfac ilitated by teaching staff, and will hinge upon group discussion and debate about materials circulated in advance(for example, sets of primary source materials, articles, chapters and book extracts). In the event that on-campus sessions need to be reduced, there is the capacity to hold live seminar discussions online and retain timetabled slots.

Timetabled surgery slots and optional office hours meetings will allow students to receive guidance on the planning and research and writing of their 4000-word essays from an individual member of staff contributing to the module supervising the essay in question. This will ensure closely guided reading and learning and constructive dialogue in assessment preparation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1004,000 words (including footnotes, excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.

Reading Lists