Duke Immerse: 

A signature education initiative of Duke University

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Pandemics, Health & Power

Fall 2021

Exploring how history, culture, and inequality shape the delivery and receipt of care in times of pandemic and other disasters. There are a couple spots open;  Duke Immerse will consider late applications on a case by case basis. Please contact Morgan Barlow (morgan.barlow@duke.edu) for more information and to apply.

Students at activities fairWhose lives matter? Who deserves care and who doesn't? What do disasters teach us about our shared humanity? The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed structural racism, ageism, sexism, classism, and ableism, all of which contribute to healthcare disparities and disproportionate rates of death. COVID-19 was not the first pandemic to affect the United States, and it will not be the last.

We will explore questions related to the cultural and ethical dimensions of care, dis/ability, illness, storytelling, and death. Pandemics, Health & Power will dive deeply into a study of health inequities through a set of interlocking experiences, in the classroom and in Durham:

  • Interrogating the shifting conceptualization of risk, society's organized response, and the social regard for vulnerable groups
  • Studying the biological contexts of infectious diseases and critical theory (e.g., DisCrit)
  • Exploring the fusion of science and humanities in film, culture, ritual, health care, crisis and survival
  • Developing mentor relationships with a healthcare provider (e.g., MD, PA, OT, PT, MSW) or community partner (e.g., local activist, disability advocate)
  • Collecting oral histories 
  • Learning medical illustration
  • Publishing the stories of COVID-19 in Durham and Duke

Application: There are a few spots open; Duke Immerse will consider late applications on a case by case basis. Please contact Morgan Barlow (morgan.barlow@duke.edu) before August 2nd for more information and to apply. If you have access issues with the portal application, please email Duke Immerse (immerse@duke.edu) to request an alternative format. All students who are interested, regardless of documentation or citizenship status, are encouraged to apply.

Prerequisite: Writing 101

Program fee: $300. Duke provides additional grant aid to cover the cost of this program fee for all students receiving financial aid. The program fee is in addition to tuition, room, and board. Contact Duke's Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support (finaid@duke.edu) for more information. 

Lead Faculty

Headshot of Marion Quirici
Lecturing Fellow, Thompson Writing Program
Headshot of James Chappel
Hunt Family Assistant Professor, History
Headshot of Jehanne Gheith
Associate Professor, Russian Culture & Program in Education
Headshot of Julie Reynolds
Associate Professor of the Practice, Biology & Program in Education

Contact Marion Quirici (marion.quirici@duke.edu) or Duke Immerse (immerse@duke.edu) for more information.


Number Title Crosslistings Notes
BIO 153S Climate, Coffee & Coronavirus: Why ecology matters to human health NS, STS, W ENVIRON 153S, GLHLTH 153S Fall 2021
ICS 251S Literatures and Films of Pandemics ALP, CCI, EI, W GLHLTH 278S, RUSSIAN 278S, LIT 278S, ENGLISH 243S Fall 2021
WRITING 390S Lives that Matter: Race, Disability, and the Ethics of Care/Work EI, R, SS, W GLHLTH 390S, PUBPOL 290S, RIGHTS 390S, ETHICS 390S Fall 2021
HIST 410S History of Death CZ, EI, STS Fall 2021