As the SARS-Cov-2 virus sweeps the globe, the resulting pandemic has caused a major disruption in day-to-day life. Culture has become virtual overnight. Issues of politics, leadership, education, race, and class are revealed in ways that are usually obscured. As people curtail their movements and abandon public spaces, animals are moving back into those places. Pollution has fallen dramatically in urban centers. The structure of employment, medical care, and family life is immediately and visibly present in daily life. This course will use the social, economic, and environmental disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic as a mirror to broadly examine contemporary American and global life.

The course is being taught by a community of scholars from a range of disciplines in the sciences, arts, and humanities in conversation about intersecting issues raised by this crisis. Students will prepare for class each week by watching 20-minute lectures from a pair of visiting scholars and preparing questions for a live conversation with them each Thursday at 7pm. Students will adapt the information most pertinent to their experiences and produce a final project to be shared with a community of their choosing.