This seminar will explore the immense historical importance of infectious disease, in particular, using it as a lens to confront larger issues in the changing world of medical practice and investigation. We will study the impact of disease at critical points in American history. We will discuss the great epidemics that devastated our nation, as well as the scientific breakthroughs in epidemiology, antiseptic practice vaccines and antibiotics that tamed the scourge of cholera, polio, typhoid fever, and influenza, among other deadly diseases. We will study how the battle against disease revolutionized philanthropy and medical research in the United States. We will see the consequences and cultural impact of disease upon different segments of the American population. And we will look at current diseases yet to be fully understood or conquered, such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and Zika..