The History of Animal Health and Public Health

History 280S.001

Fall 2013
Day & Time: 
F 10-12P

In recent years, professionals working in animal and human health have focused on the concept of “one health” to develop public health interventions. The theory connects animal and human diseases and explores the relationship of these two populations in order to better understand how they impact each other's health. In this course, students will learn about the history of animal diseases, their conceptualization, and the development of the theory of “one health”. We will explore how animal disease control policy developed from the antiquity to the present, what factors impacted policy to control zoonotics and epizootics, and how animal health impacted human politics, economics, health, and society. Topics will include the domestication of animals, animal identity, the role of animals in religion, colonialism, agriculture, economics, and public health, and the control of diseases including rinderpest, malaria, hog cholera, rabies, and “mad cow” disease. By the end of the course, students will be able to analyze how animal diseases impacted human public health and culture, how societies dealt with animal diseases through political, cultural, and/or medical interventions, the impact of economics, science, and politics on control policy for the disease, and how conceptualization of diseases impacted societal understanding of the animal they infected.

Rebecca Kaplan recently completed her PhD in History of Health Sciences. Her research interests include history of public health (for both humans and animals), biocitizenship, and politics and health policy.