Bidisciplinary Course #240-01
AIDS: Scientific Investigation and the Human Experience

Winter, 1998; Napier 101; T/Th 10:55-12:40


Prof. David W. Craig,(, Dept. of Chemistry, Rosenberg 111, EXT 3611, office hr: MTWRF 9:20-10:30, M 2:00-3:00

Prof. Susan Henking, (, Dept. of Religious Studies, D-208, EXT 3373, office hr: W 9:00-12:00, M 2:00-3:00 in WI-1D

Welcome to BD240! We are very excited about this course and we are hopeful that it will enrich your educational experiences here at HWS. The topic for this course is extremely important to our lives and, indeed, to the entire planet. We will raise issues of social responsibility in the context of your intellectual development. We hope that the work that we will do here will be just the beginning of an educational process that will continue for the rest of your lives. The information presented below describes the organization of the course, the required texts, and grading and attendance policy.


This sophomore level course is designed to show students that multiple modes of analysis are often necessary to formulate questions and seek answers about specific problems. In this case, biochemical and humanistic approaches are used in a common forum on AIDS. Faculty and students will work together to address the nature of the scientific process as well as relevant scientific issues such as the human immune system, the mechanisms of virus action, and the biochemical structure of the HIV viruses. In addition, course participants will consider the ways in which AIDS is socially constructed and evaluated. Relevant humanistic issues will include the place of ethical inquiry in responses to AIDS, the role of creative and artistic work emerging from the AIDS movement, and the impact of various forms of political and cultural discourse (both mainstream and oppositional) in the response to AIDS. Taken together, the scientific and humanistic aspects of this course will provide essential contexts for understanding the ongoing human realities of AIDS.