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Hon 2060-002
COVID in Context
  Fall 2021: Aug. 18 - Dec. 10, 2021

Instructor: Prof. Pamela E. Mack, Department of History
Contact information:

Description: A lesson we have to relearn over and over again: ‘Even the most effective technofixes are dependent on the social and political environment in which they're deployed.’”
source. We will seek to understand the US response to COVID more deeply, discussing such perspectives as science, politics, science communication, social justice, health care policy, mental health, media, social media, history, international comparisons.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course students should be able to:

Grading: This course will use contract grading. That means that you pick how much work you want to do for the grade you want to receive. If you do that work in a satisfactory manner, you are guaranteed that grade. Satisfactory is defined below and in the assignments and will be indicated in feedback, but in general work done for an A grade will be considered unsatisfactory if in another course I would give that work a grade of B- or below. If work is unsatisfactory you will have a chance to re-do it. Note that the Canvas grading system cannot handle contract grading, so you will not see a reliable average in Canvas, though I will grade some assignments as part of the feedback I give.

For an A:

For a B:

If you are not going to meet the standard for a B please discuss with the professor.
Numerical grades out of 100 will be converted to final letter grades by the system 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, below 60=F. I round up an 89.5 and above automatically.

Attendance: The university is predicting a short sharp spike in COVID cases for the next 3 to 4 weeks, and then a low level. Given the uncertainty of that prediction, the plan for this course will develop on a week by week basis, to be communicated by Canvas announcement. If the university prediction is accurate we will be able to meet in person most of the semester. Masks are required in the classroom at least while the number of COVID cases is high (breaking news)

Please do not come to class if you are feeling sick even if you don't have a test result yet. Absences will be excused for illness, the disruption of starting quarantine, urgent situations with family and friends, mental health days, job interviews, and etc. No proof is required, but in order to have your absence excused you must use the Student Notification of Absences form in Canvas (left hand menu at the bottom). You can use the "other" category for the reason for your absence if it does not fit one of the main choices and it is ok to fill out the form after the fact. But you must use the form for your absence to be excused.

This is a discussion oriented course, so will not work well in hybrid form. If we are meeting in person and I get at least notice the day before from any students who need to isolate or quarantine, I will try to record the class, but I will not do so routinely. If several students have to quarantine it may work better to meet virtually.

Daily Assignments:

Reflection: The details of the reflection assignments will be posted in Canvas. These are not wide open assignments; you will need to follow specific instructions. Late reflections will get a 2 point penalty for lateness per calendar day, but the penalty will be capped or waived in special circumstances.

The community project or research paper assignment will be developed in consultation with the class.

Group Projects:

Accommodations: The instructor is happy to honor disability letters.  See Student Accessibility Services information below.

Academic Integrity:
As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning."  Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others.  Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree.  Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

This includes representing someone else's work as your own or handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of the instructors.  Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from the online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.  Note that the catalog defines as one form of academic dishonesty: "Plagiarism, which includes the intentional or unintentional copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one’s own efforts."  Note the word unintentional--if you forget to put quote marks or a reference you can be found guilty of academic dishonesty even if it was not your intention to cheat.

It is cheating to cut and paste or otherwise copy portions of a argument paper, exam, or discussion board posting from a book, web site, or from the online class notes, even if you change a few words, unless you quote and give the source.  It is poor writing for more than about 20% of your paper to consist of quotes.  In most cases when you use specific material from any source you should paraphrase: cite the source and put the ideas into you own words (generally no more than 5 consecutive words should match the source but if the words are mostly the same it could still be plagiarism even if there aren't 5 consecutive words).

The catalog states: "When, in the opinion of a course instructor, there is evidence that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, that person must make a formal written charge of academic dishonesty, including a description of the misconduct, to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The reporting person may, at his/her discretion, inform each involved student privately of the nature of the alleged charge. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use, as an option, the Plagiarism Resolution Form available from the Office of Undergraduate Studies."

General Education:  This course meets the STS general education requirements.  The prompt is:

Required Reading:
Reading should be done before the class day for which an assignment is listed.  Some readings are online and are linked from the online syllabus.

Aug. 18

Planning for the semester
Aug. 20
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02187-1 Current situation
Aug. 23
Aug. 25
Barry Prologue
History of medicine
Aug. 27
meet on Zoom for group work

Aug. 30
Barry Part I

Sept. 1
Mistrust of science group leads class

Sept. 3
current issues/group work

Sept. 6
Barry Part II

Sept. 8
Group leads class

Sept. 10
current issues/group work

Sept. 13
Barry Part III

Sept. 15
Group leads class

Sept. 17
current issues/group work

Sept. 20
Barry Part IV

Sept. 22
Group leads class
Sept. 24
current issues/group work
Sept. 27
Barry Part V

Sept. 29
Group leads class
Oct. 1
current issues/group work
Oct. 4
Barry Part VI

Oct. 6
Group leads class
Oct. 8
independent group work
Fall Break

Oct. 13
Group leads class
Oct. 15
current issues/group work
Oct. 18
Barry Part VII

Oct. 20
Group leads class
Oct. 22
current issues/group work
Oct. 25
Barry Part VIII

Oct. 27
Group leads class
Oct 29
current issues/group work
Nov. 1
Barry Part IX

Nov. 3
Group leads class
Nov. 5
current issues/group work
Nov. 8
Barry Part X

Not. 10
Group leads class
Nov. 12
current issues/group work
Nov. 15
Barry Afterword and reflections

Nov. 17
Group leads class
Nov. 19
current issues/group work
Nov. 22
Where are we?

Nov. 24-26
Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 29
group reports

Dec. 1
group reports

Dec. 3
group reports

Dec. 7
Takehome final reflection due

This page written and copyright © Pamela E. Mack
Send me e-mail at: Pammack@clemson.edu
For my other pages see:  PEM Index Page
last updated 8/22/2021

University Policies and Student support, syllabus part two 2021-22

Student Support



The Academic Success Center (ASC)  offers a variety of free learning and success services for all undergraduate students that include

                 Mastery of course content

o   Tutoring – students can expect a 1:1 meeting with a trained undergraduate peer leader (who made an A or B in the course and was recommended by a faculty member) during which the student can share specific questions they have about course content with the tutor focused on helping the student, through questioning techniques and identification of helpful learning strategies, and master course concepts.  Tutors do not help with homework or other class assignments.

o   Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) – students can expect collaborative and active group learning and study sessions focused on mastery of course content and learning strategies that is facilitated by a trained undergraduate peer leader (who made an A or B in the course and was recommended by a faculty member).  PAL leaders do not help with homework or other class assignments.

Learning and Success Strategies

o   Academic coaching - students can expect a 1:1 meeting with a trained professional academic coach during which the coach helps students see themselves, their skills, and their study habits from a fresh perspective through one-on-one sessions focused on learning and personal success strategies.

o   Success strategy workshops – students can expect 30-45 minute workshops on college success skills, time management and organizational skills, test-taking strategies, study strategies, finals preparation, life skills, and academic resources.

o   College success skills course (CU 1010) – students experiencing academic difficulty can expect a course focused on academic and personal skill building taught by instructors who wish to work with this student population

ASC services are designed to equip students with strategies and resources they can use to:

                 Succeed in their courses

                 Become more confident, independent, and skillful learners

                 Engage in more productive and effective study and learning strategies

                 Manage their time more effectively


The Class of 1956 Academic Success Center building is located in the center of campus adjacent to Cooper Library and the Watt Family Innovation Center.


An overview of the Center’s peer learning support programs (tutoring and PAL) can be found at the ASC Courses page.

Please encourage your students to utilize one or more of our services.  We welcome your feedback on how we can best serve your students.


We celebrate diversity in abilities, identities, and perspectives and invite Clemson students, faculty, and staff from all walks of life to participate in our programs, services, and employment. We believe that engaging with a variety of ideas and viewpoints results in deeper and more meaningful learning and creates the conditions for our students to thrive. We seek to be an active partner with Clemson students, faculty, and staff in creating an inclusive campus environment in which mutual respect and support are demonstrated for all members of our campus community.


Academic advising is an ongoing educational process that connects the student to the University. Academic advising supports the University's mission of preparing the student for learning beyond the confines of the academy. Academic advisors represent and interpret University policies and procedures to the student and help the student navigate the academic and organizational paths of the institution.


Do you need library sources but don't know where to start? Are you asking your students to search for a book, article, or data to support their argument? Not sure whether they know how to cite a source properly in their bibliography? Tell them to ask a librarian!  Help is available in person at each of our locations: Cooper Library, Gunnin Architecture Library, and the Education Media Center.  You can also chat with a librarian live from our website, by phone at 864.656.1557, or text 864.762.4884.  Extended research assistance with librarians who specialize in subject areas is also available by appointment. A list of librarians and their areas of expertise are listed on the subject librarians page. Check the Library’s Ask Us page for details. For assistance with digital projects, the Adobe Digital Studio is located on the 5th floor and is staffed to support the needs of you and your students. You can download Adobe Creative Cloud for free.

Cooper Library and Technical Support

If you are having hardware or software problems, CCIT's Service Desk may be able to help you. Contact them by emailing ITHELP@clemson.edu, calling or texting (864) 656-3494, or starting a live chat at ccit.clemson.edu. The help desk is located in Cooper Library.


The Graduate School maintains a collection of grad student resources applicable to graduate students for professional development, governance, the handbook, and thesis/dissertation resources). It has resources regarding education, student life, and health and safety as well.


The Michelin® Career Center, in the Center for Career and Professional Development, assists undergraduate and graduate students in selecting appropriate fields of study, learning effective job searching strategies, and making connections with employers. Career counselors are available to meet with students to explore career or educational options, develop résumés and cover letters, hone interviewing techniques, conduct searches for internships and full-time jobs, and ready themselves for interviewing with employers. In addition, students may utilize ClemsonJobLink, the Career Center’s on-line recruiting system, to view part-time jobs, internships, and full-time job postings and to sign up for on-campus interviews.

The Center’s Internship Program
This program brings together students and employers to facilitate academically enriching and mutually beneficial work experiences. This program offers on-campus, off-campus and international internship options. Students may participate in either part-time or full-time internships. The Center’s goal is to endow students with the skills and tools to find part-time jobs and internships while in school, as well as full-time jobs following graduation. Other information can be obtained from the Career Center’s website or by calling 864-656-6000.

UPIC: University Professional Internship and Co-op

The University Professional Internship and Co-op (UPIC) Program offers students on-campus professional learning experiences. Students have the opportunity to work with Clemson faculty and staff on Clemson's main campus, as well as other sites across the state, while receiving an academic internship notation on their transcripts. Enrollment in the appropriate INT course and payment of the corresponding fee is a requirement of the program (e.g. INT 1510). In order to be eligible for the program, a student must have completed at least one full semester at Clemson University and be an enrolled and matriculating undergraduate student in good standing. Available internships are typically listed in ClemsonJobLink halfway through the semester prior to the experience. Additional information is available at http://career.clemson.edu or by calling the program office at 864-656-0282.


The Cooperative Education Program (or Co-op Program) is a rigorous engaged-learning program designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn under a mentor in their field of study.  Companies partner with the program to host the co-op student for two, three or more rotations and this in-depth learning experience becomes an integral part of the student’s education.  The co-op student’s experience is monitored and evaluated by the faculty and academic staff of the Co-op Program.  Co-op students are paid by the host company.



 The Registrar's office provides information about important deadlines, degree and program requirements, and other key information, including use of iROAR to add, drop, or withdraw from courses.



Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the instructor know and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen, if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments.  Students who have accommodations are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and send these to their instructors through the AIM portal as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester. 

You can access further information at the Student Accessibility website.  Other information is at the university’s Accessibility Portal.


Student Health Services, locally known as “Redfern” Health, strengthens Clemson University by providing quality medical and mental health care and the health, safety and well-being of the campus community. Student Health Services strives to be an innovative health care system providing integrated quality services that are responsive to the needs of the University community.

For information on who to contact for help in a crisis situation, visit the Student Health contact page and the emergency/crisis page for getting help.


At Counseling and Psychological Services(CAPS), you are encouraged to be an active participant in your medical and mental health care. Which service is the right one for you hinges on your individual need, and CAPS will help you figure that out.

CAPS is committed to educating students, as well as offering “outreach services to faculty and staff members in order to improve the quality of their interactions with students and to promote a healthy work environment.”



Clemson University’s Writing Lab offers free one-on-one writing support for all Clemson students. Students can seek support at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to final revisions.  Visit the Writing Lab’s website for more information about their services or to make an  appointment.



Clemson Policies



Clemson has developed an Academic Continuity Plan for academic operations. Should university administration officially determine that the physical classroom facility is not available to conduct classes, class will be conducted in a virtual (online) form. The university issues official disruption notifications through email, website, text notification and Social Media. When notified, use one of the following links to navigate to Clemson Canvas where you will find important information about how we will conduct class:

Course activities will occur through the Canvas course.


As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

All infractions of academic dishonesty by undergraduates must be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use the Plagiarism Resolution Form.

See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website for additional information and the current catalogue for the policy.

For graduate students, see the current graduate student handbook for all policies. 


Undergraduate students are advised to contact the Ombuds' Office prior to filing an academic grievance. If the undergraduate academic ombudsman agrees that a grievable issue has occurred, students can contact Undergraduate Studies (656-3022) for assistance filing official paperwork within 30 days of the semester following the awarding of a disputed grade.

Graduate students follow the Graduate Student Handbook (per the catalogue, “grievances must be filed with the Graduate School within 60 days of the alleged act.”)



 Materials from published sources (books, articles, and even videos) are protected under copyright. When used for educational purposes, they are intended for use only by students enrolled in a particular course and only for instructional activities associated with the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated further as described in the provisions of the Teach Act. Students should refer to the Clemson Libguide Use of Copyrighted Materials and the “Fair Use Guidelines” policy on the Clemson University website for additional information.



Clemson University aspires to create a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences.

The Clemson University Title IX statement regarding non-discrimination

The Clemson University Title IX statement: Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This Title IX policy is located on the Campus Life website. Ms. Alesia Smith is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Equity Compliance. Her office is located at 223 Brackett Hall, 864.656.0620. Remember, email is not a fully secured method of communication and should not be used to discuss Title IX issues.


"" Emergency Preparedness Statement

Emergency procedures have been posted in all buildings and on all elevators. Students should be reminded to review these procedures for their own safety. All students and employees should be familiar with guidelines from the Clemson Police Department. Visit here for information about safety.


Clemson University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As members of the community, we encourage you to take the following actions to be better prepared in case of an emergency:

1.     Ensure you are signed up for emergency alerts 

2.     Download the Rave Guardian app to your phone (https://www.clemson.edu/cusafety/cupd/rave-guardian/)

3.     Learn what you can do to prepare yourself in the event of an active threat (http://www.clemson.edu/cusafety/EmergencyManagement/)


Appropriate online academic conduct means maintaining a safe learning environment based on mutual respect and civility. All participants in Clemson courses are expected to behave professionally by adhering to these standards of conduct:

o   Never transmit or promote content known to be illegal.

o   Respect other people's privacy as well as your own.

o   Forgive other people's mistakes.

o   Never use harassing, threatening, embarrassing, or abusive language or actions.

Online communication that fails to meet these standards of conduct will be removed from the course. Repeated misconduct may result in being blocked from online discussions, receiving a grade penalty, or being dismissed from the course. Such misconduct in the online environment may also be reported to officials for appropriate action in accordance with University policy. If you ever encounter inappropriate content in our course, please contact me, the instructor, with your concerns.



This course is designed with your privacy in mind. If, however, you feel that an assignment or technology tool undermines your right to privacy, please contact the instructor immediately. We will work together to determine an alternative assignment that will help you achieve the course learning outcomes. 


Please consult the Clemson research policies.   If a course includes the use of animals, IUCAC regulations must be followed.   If a course involves any human subjects research, this research will comply with campus IRB regulations. This includes research of the course itself, which, while it may fall under one of the exempt categories, needs IRB review.