HIST 394
The History of Panics Spring 2018
Division II
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What is a panic? This course takes up questions of what has defined, caused, and shaped panics of various kinds-political, societal, moral, medical, and financial. We will consider what has fueled panics, what has prevented them, what their effects have been, how they have ended, who has panicked, who has been the victim of panics, and what has distinguished premodern from modern incarnations of the phenomenon. Central themes will include the relationship between panics and emotions (anxiety, fear, insecurity, irrationality, hysteria), communication (rumor, gossip, mass media), technology (electricity, vaccines, the computer), and violence (persecution, revolution, psychological torment). With a multidisciplinary approach informed by sociology, economics, psychology, and history, our examination will span different times and different places and will encompass witch hunts of many sorts, infectious diseases, financial crises, cultural scares, and more.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 3479
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, response papers, one short 5-page paper, and a research paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: History majors, potential History majors
Distributions: Division II

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