In 1348, the disease that would be called the Black Death swept west from Central Asia to Europe, where it quickly annihilated up to a third of Europeâ€™s population in the span of one short year. This was neither the first nor the last occurrence of this dread disease in world history. The effects of the plague on the social fabric of the societies with which it came into contact were considerable, but so were the psychic effects, and the intellectual and artistic worlds felt compelled to attempt to understand what the plague was, as well as its grander philosophical and moral implications. This course studies some of those efforts, with discussions of readings from Boccaccio, Defoe, Villon, Camus, danse macabre and grotesque literature, artistic responses, and the necessary social background of the Black Death and theories about the impact of disease in history from writers such as William McNeill, Jared Diamond, and others.Prerequisite: LA 101. Class Notes: 3 seats open to upper level students, remaining open to Sophomores only until the Open Enrollment period. Enrollment Requirements: Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in HMST 101.