Race, Class, and COVID

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
WED 3:45 - 6:20 pm TNH 2.123

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


In this interdisciplinary seminar-styled class, students will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various racial and economic groups in this country. Among the topics we will explore are public health disparities, including the social determinants of health, infection/mortality rates, and long COVID/shortened life expectancies. We also will consider how behavioral responses to masking, social distancing laws, and vaccine mandates varied between races and income groups.

Because of stubborn and systemic racial and income disparities in K-12 and post-secondary education and in congregant facilities, we will consider how students and incarcerated/detained persons responded to (or were able to respond to) lockdowns and how laws/regulations often failed to adequately protect vulnerable populations. We will also explore the disparate effects COVID had in the labor market (including who was allowed to work-from-home) and on housing (in)stability.

Students will read a range of materials that may include law review articles, policy papers, news articles, blog postings, and congressional testimony. There is no assigned textbook. All materials will be available on Canvas.

The first half of each class session will be conducted in small groups that will rotate weekly. There will be a full class discussion for the second half of class.

The final grade will be based on the quality of the participatory contributions made throughout the semester and discussion questions/short reflection posts. Students will also write a final paper (min. 15 pages) that will propose a concrete remedy to one of the racial or income disparities COVID created or exacerbated.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

See Instructor/Syllabus For Course Materials


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