HIV/AIDS and Its Biological and Social Impact
PHILOSOPHY OF GENERAL EDUCATION
A complex array of forces continually transforms our world. Marygrove’s general education program engages these forces, providing opportunities to examine them from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Our objective is not only to disseminate information about forces that shape our world but also to intensify our critical thinking about them.
At Marygrove we try to make certain that all the courses you take will help you develop skills that can be put to use in your professional and personal life. The classes are designed to assist you in:
- Strengthening writing, critical thinking, oral communication, and research skills necessary for continued development.
- Understanding the responsibility of the individual toward the common good, making sound ethical judgments, and taking an active role in promoting social justice.
- Recognizing the distinctive elements and contributions of various liberal arts disciplines as well as the connections among the disciplines.
- Valuing diversity of individuals, communities, and cultures.
- Comprehending the complexity and interdependence of the modern world, including local, national, and global perspectives.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE COLLEGE MISSION:
This course is designed to realize all three major goals of the College mission: to develop in students the skills necessary to understand and participate effectively in the world; to foster in students the compassion to care about and respect the worth and dignity of people; and to promote the commitment to act responsibly for the building of a more just and humane world.
In addition, this course incorporates six of the College\’s eight objectives: educating students from diverse backgrounds, servicing people of Metropolitan Detroit and beyond, educating each student toward intellectual competence, educating students toward professional competence, preparing students for career flexibility through a grounding in the liberal arts, and providing a personalized learning environment with excellent teaching in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs.
This course will employ a variety of teaching methods, including lecture, small group discussion and presentations, one-on-one conferencing, community outreach, work on the Internet, and work with other learning technologies as appropriate.
This course is a biological, psychological, social and literary interdisciplinary examination of HIV/AIDS. The focus is on the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals, families and communities. Communities of color will be emphasized. A required academic service learning activity focuses on HIV/AIDS engagement with high school students and college students at Marygrove and at other colleges/universities. Additional engagements may include churches and the elderly. Prerequisite: ENG 108.
The student will gain comprehensive, measurable knowledge of the operation of biological systems.
The student will be capable of interpreting and evaluating biological information on viruses, especially the HIV virus, from the media encountered in everyday life.
The student will demonstrate leadership skills by addressing community needs through collaboration with other students in community engagements.
The student will increase his/her awareness of the value of diversity in the student’s own personal and professional lives.
The student will synthesize course content by reflecting on academic service learning activities.
The student will be introduced to the wealth of existing literature on HIV/AIDS and be provided background as to why the literature has emerged.
The student will examine the various creative writings HIV/AIDS has inspired and how the numerous authors have used a wide variety of ways in which to depict the problems of HIV/AIDS: those traditional literary genres and some experimental, etc.
The student will examine topics that have created much controversy over the past ten years.
The student will ultimately increase his/her understanding and awareness of how HIV/AIDS affects individuals, families and communities in AIDS literature.
The student will examine what responsibilities writers in literature have in presenting AIDS to the inquiring public.
Written 100 point Examination. 30%
Extra Points: Research Paper. 10%
Students will research a “famous person” who died of AIDS and prepare a 3-4 page paper on the life of the individual, how he/she contracted the virus, and what opportunistic infection caused death. Paper must be written in APA style with citations.
Wessner, D., HIV and AIDS. San Francisco, CA.: Pearson Benjamin
PSYCHOSOCIAL AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMPONENT
Academic Service Learning Activity: Outside of class community engagement is required. Students will apply the knowledge and skills learned in the class to facilitate small group discussions with churches, older adults, high schools, and college students in collaboration with AIDS Partnership Michigan.
Academic Service Learning Paper (10%)
Community Engagements: Instructions to be given in class (10%)
Two Papers on Speakers (2.5% each = 5%)
Paper on Levenson Book (5%)
Levenson, Jacob. The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America. New York: Pantheon Books, 2004.
Submit one Literary Reflection Paper: 3-5 pages on at least 2 or more novels, poems, movies, videos, plays, short stories, autobiographies, memories, documentaries, or television dramas or episodes (Instructions will be given out in class.) Include a works cited or reference page, if sources were used. Also, use the correct documentation style manual (MLA or APA). 20 %
Literary Group Project for 4-5 students: use text, the Internet and any other texts to compile a current listing for novels, poetry, movies, plays, essays, interviews, TV shows, etc. Instructions will be given out in class. 10%
Another alternative as a group project is to work on an AIDS QUILT, which will start soon after the beginning of the class to bring it to fruition by the end of the semester. 10%
Hunter, B. Michael, ed. Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the Age of AIDS. Volume II. New York: Other Countries Press, 1993.
COURSE OUTLINE AND SCHEDULE
BIOLOGICAL COMPONENT: DR. RIZZO
Introduction to the Course
Cell Structure: Cell theory; The Eucaryotic Animal Cell; Cellular Organelles: Plasma Membrane, Cytoplasm, Nucleus, Mitochondria, Lysosomes, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi Apparatus, Ribosomes, Centrioles, Cilia and Flagella, Cell Wall of Plants.
Slides on Cell Structure; Lab on cells; Genetic Control within Cells: DNA Structure and Function; Protein Synthesis: Transcription and Messenger RNA; Transfer RNA, Ribosomes, and Translation; The Central Dogma and Exceptions to the Dogma.
Levenson: Prologue (Tornado), Chapters 1 (Smoke), 2 (Allied)
Video: Out of Control: AIDS in Black America (viewed in class)
Proteins and Cell Activity: Enzymes; Structural Proteins, Antigens and Antibodies; the Nature of Viruses: Structure and Reproduction
Levenson: Chapters 3 (The Heir), 4 (Fire)
Videos: Translating the Code: Protein Synthesis; The Biology of Viruses
The (HIV) Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Structure and Life Cycle of a Retrovirus; The effects of HIV infection; The Clinical Stages of HIV Infection: Asymptomatic Period, Initial Disease Symptoms, Damage to the Immune System and Frank AIDS; Details of Frank AIDS: Fungal, Protozoan, Bacterial and Viral Infections, and Cancers; Modes of Transmission and Prevention.
Levenson: Chapters 5 (Invisible), 6 (Fractured)
FEBRUARY 7 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Introduction to the Social Aspects of AIDS: Fears and Prejudices, Family Members Affected, Caring for a Patient who has AIDS; Cell Structure, DNA, Protein Synthesis, and the AIDS Virus; Review
Levenson: Chapters 7 (Surfacing), 8 (Ester and the King)
Continue with above topics on the biological aspects of HIV/AIDS/STDs; Review for Written Examination.
Research Paper Due and Discussion
Levenson: Chapters 9 (The Guardians), 10 (The Long Dream), Epilogue
FEBRUARY 26 Written examination on biology
PSYCHOSOCIAL COMPONENT AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMPONENT:
Speakers: Paula and Felix Sirils, Testimony on Living with AIDS
HIV/AIDS and African Americans; Statistics; Stigma, Stereotypes and Judgmental Attitudes; Values and Attitudes; Psychosocial Impact of HIV/AIDS on Individuals, Families and Communities; Socialization and Connectedness
Diversity Issues: Race, Culture, Class, Gender and Sexual Orientation; Religion; Drug Abuse; Downlow
Paper on Sirils due
Speaker: Rev. Dr Michael Nabors, pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church, presenting on The Black Church, HIV/AIDS and Religious Inclusion
MARCH 9-14 Spring break
Paper on Rev. Dr. Nabors due
Speaker: Hank Millbourne, MSW, M.Div, Associate Executive Director Program Development, AIDS Partnership Michigan, presenting on Stigma and HIV/AIDS
Community Outreach Activities focused on college students; Engagement with Children, Youth, Adults, Seniors and Religious Institutions; Emphasis on Risk Reduction
Engagement Strategies; HIV/AIDS/STD Resources; Testing; Hepatitis C; Safer Sex and Condom Use Demonstrated
LITERARY COMPONENT: DR. WOODARD
Introduction to and background on the wealth of existing literature on AIDS.
Overview of the emergence of gay literature-from the Harlem Renaissance to the present.
Handout provided in class on Jed Bryan’s poem, Voices; discuss those statements (and any others) that you have heard over the past few years and try to interpret them.
Read poems in Sojourner: After the News Got Out, Vernon Maulsby, p. 72; It can Happen to Anybody-Even Me!, Mark Haile, p. 92; 2/25/91, Ronnie Batts, p. 126; Condemned, Roy Gonsalves, p. 187; and I’ll Be Somewhere Listening for My Name, Melvin Dixon, p. 199.
Discuss poems by Sonia Sanchez, Wounded in the House of a Friend.
APRIL 2 Community engagement activities
Paper on Levenson book due
Discuss plays, movies, videos, television dramas or episodes
Read chapter in text on James Jones’s The Sick Homosexual: AIDS and Gays on the American Stage and Screen in Confronting AIDS Through Literature.
View these videos: Philadelphia and The Hours; Girl, Positive (2007); and
Pandemic: Facing AIDS
Read these plays: The Boys in the Band; A Play in Two-Acts, Crowley Mart
The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer, 1985
Literary reflection paper due
Read and discuss short fiction in text. Students will make oral presentations on these short stories in Confronting AIDS Through Literature: Chapters 11, Bloodstream; Despair and Spring and Fall. Others will make poetry selections from the text, Sojourner—or biographies in Collective Biographies: Ten Stories of Courage.
Literary group project is due, and display of quilt
In class, read and discuss excerpts from E. Lynn Harris’s, Just As I Am, Jamaica Kincaid’s My Brother, and Charlotte Watson Sherman’s Touch.
Academic service learning paper due
Students will share reflection papers and any creative work, poetry or short fiction, which was written during the course.
Students will process academic service learning activities.
SERVICE LEARNING ASSIGNMENTS
PAPERS ON SPEAKERS
Two papers, one page each on two speakers in class. Your thoughts on how each speaker contributed to your understanding of the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals, families and communities.
One page, typed (12 point font) double spaced: 2.5 points each
Graded on content, grammar, style
PAPER ON THE SECRET EPIDEMIC
According to Levenson, in The Secret Epidemic, substance abuse, violence, trauma, the structural breakdown of Black communities, racism, HIV/AIDS stigma, homophobia, poverty, racial stress, denial and health care disparities affect the increase in infection rates of African Americans. Explain how any of these factors were illustrated in your participation in engagement activities, videos and/or speakers.
Two pages, typed double spaced: 5 points
Graded on content, grammar, style
ACADEMIC SERVICE LEARNING REFLECTION PAPER
1. How did the participation in engagement activities increase your knowledge and understanding HIV/AIDS?
2. Explain how any of the material in the videotapes and in listening to the speakers was illustrated in your participation in engagement activities.
3. Explain the two most important things you learned about HIV/AIDS.
4. What did you personally learn about yourself?
5. Describe your thinking and feelings during your participation in engagement activities.
6. Because of this course, explain what you will start doing, stop doing and continue to do.
7. Describe and explain any other of your thoughts and feelings concerning this service learning activity.
Three pages, typed (12 point font) double spaced: 10 points
Graded on content, grammar, style
Two engagement activities, 5 points each: 10 points
Mandatory Service Learning Reflection: if absent, 5 points deducted from the 30 points
TOTAL = 30 POINTS
Professor: James Karagon, Donald Rizzo, Loretta G. Woodard
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