We’re in This Together: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid virusIn this free 10-week course, 26 Ohio Wesleyan faculty members address the coronavirus pandemic from the perspectives of biology, politics, psychology, humanities, and other disciplines. Through lectures, panel discussions, and questions from the class, they will explore the lasting effects this crisis will have on global society, even as the pandemic unfolds.

This free class is open to the entire OWU community: new and current students, prospective students, family members, alumni, Lifelong Learning Institute participants, and area residents. New and returning students may take the class for .25 credit by completing required assignments. Anyone may listen to the lectures and discussions live or recorded.

If you register for the course, each Friday you will receive an email with the link to the next week's classes. Please add covidcoursecoordinator@owu.edu to your address book to ensure our emails are not marked as spam.

New and returning students who wish to take the class for credit must register before June 1. Noncredit participants must register to receive links to the discussion sessions and notifications of updates to the schedule. Please register at the links below.

Register here for the course (credit or noncredit).

Course Structure

Each week, two presentations will be streamed live on Mondays and Wednesdays and recorded. Presentations will be either single 30-40-minute lectures by a faculty presenter or discussions with several faculty lasting up to 75 minutes. Optional "Meet the Profs" discussion sessions with that week's presenters also will be held on Thursdays (for students) and Fridays (all others). Supplementary reading material will be available every week.

COVID-19 Course Resource Guide

Students taking the course for credit must meet the following requirements:

  • Be registered at OWU during the Fall 2020 semester; the credit will show up as a Fall 2020 class on your transcript.
  • Watch at least eight presentations.
  • Complete eight reading assignments and posts to eight discussion boards associated with the readings.
  • Submit a final reflection essay.
  • Optional: Attend “Meet the Profs” sessions reserved for new and current students to interact with that week’s presenters.

Course Schedule

Readings: Posted Monday mornings.
Live Lectures/Roundtables: Mondays at 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. for registered participants. Recordings will be posted following the live events on
OWU's YouTube Channel.
Optional "Meet the Profs" Sessions: Thursdays at 4 p.m. for prospective and current students and Fridays at noon for all others. Links to the Blackboard sessions will be sent to registered participants.
Discussion Board Posts for Credit Students: Due Fridays at 5 p.m.

Week 1 - April 27-May 1

Monday, April 27, 4 p.m.
Coronavirus: Where Are the Solutions? Panel discussion with Ellen Arnold (History), Sean Kay (Politics & Government), Randy Quaye (Black World Studies)
Watch the Video

Wednesday, April 29, 4 p.m.
Coronavirus Connections: The Ecology of a Pandemic, Lecture with Laurie Anderson (Botany-Microbiology)
Watch the Video

Week 1 Readings

Week 2 - May 4-8

Monday, May 4, 4 p.m.
Pandemics of the Past, Lecture with Ellen Arnold (History)
Watch the Video

Wednesday, May 6, 4 p.m.
Modeling COVID-19, Panel discussion with Barbara Anderek (Physics) and Heather Fair (Botany-Microbiology)
Watch the Video

Week 2 Readings

Week 3 - May 11-15

Monday, May 11, 4 p.m.
COVID-19: Global and American Security, Lecture with Sean Kay (Politics & Government)
Watch the Video

Wednesday, May 13, 4 p.m.
How Are Countries Responding to COVID-19?, Lecture with Jim Franklin (Politics & Government)
Watch the Video

Week 3 Readings

Week 4 - May 18-22

Monday, May 18, 4 p.m.
Inequality and the Coronavirus Pandemic, Panel discussion with Randy Quaye (Black World Studies), Dawn Chisebe (Black World Studies), and Karen Poremski (English)
Watch the Video

Wednesday, May 20, 4 p.m.
How the Pandemic Exposed What’s Great and Not So Great in Our Public Schools, Lecture with Michele Nobel (Education)
Watch the Video

Week 4 Readings

Week 5 - May 25-29

Tuesday, May 26, 4 p.m. (Note schedule change)
Literary Responses to Past Pandemics, Lecture with Anne Sokolsky (Comparative Literature)
Watch the Video

Wednesday, May 27, 4 p.m.
Pandemics, 
Politics, and Pictures: Italian Art and the Black DeathLecture with Carol Neuman de Vegvar (Fine Arts)
Watch the Video

Week 5 Readings

Week 6 - June 1-5

Monday, June 1, 4 p.m.
Food Systems and Food Security in the Coronavirus Pandemic, Panel discussion with Chris Fink (Health & Human Kinetics), Liz Nix (Nutrition), and Ashley Allen (Geology & Geography)
Watch the Video

Wednesday, June 3, 4 p.m.
Sixty to Zero in Nothing Flat: The Impact of COVID on the American Economy and the Prospects for Recovery, Lecture by Bob Gitter (Economics)
Watch the Video

Week 6 Readings

Week 7 - June 8-12

Monday, June 8, 4 p.m.
Social Distance, Not Social Isolation: Staying Connected During COVID-19 Panel discussion with Kira Bailey (Psychology) and Vicki DiLillo (Psychology)

Wednesday, June 10, 4 p.m.
Simple Practices for Stress Relief, Lecture with Emily Hanafin (Health & Human Kinetics)

Week 7 Readings

Week 8 - June 15-19

Monday, June 15, 4 p.m.
Before and After: Advertising and Marketing in the Age of Coronavirus, Lecture with Matt Vollrath (Business Administration)

Wednesday, June 17, 4 p.m.
International and Global Economic Aspects of COVID-19: Where Are We, and Where Do We Go?, Lecture by Saif Rahman (Economics)

Week 8 Readings

Week 9 - June 22-26

Monday, June 22, 4 p.m.
Reframing the Future? Policy Change and Cultural Adaptation, Panel discussion with Franchesca Nestor (Politics & Government) and Vanessa Hildebrand (Sociology & Anthropology)

Wednesday, June 24, 4 p.m.
When Will It Be Safe To Go Out Again? Challenges in Vaccine Development, and Why It May Be OK Without One, Lecture with Suren Ambegaokar (Botany & Microbiology)

Week 9 Readings

Week 10 - June 29-July 2

Monday, June 29, 4 p.m.
The Virtual Concert Hall: Performing Arts in the Age of COVID-19, Panel discussion with Antoine Clark (Music), Rich Edwards (Music), and Nancy Gamso (Music)

Wednesday, July 2, 4 p.m.
The Future is Ours: What Does Life Look Like After Coronavirus?, Panel discussion with Ashley Biser (Politics & Government) and other faculty from the course

Week 10 Readings

Please Support Ohio Wesleyan

OWU faculty are pleased to present this course free to the community. We ask those who are able to make a donation to support the OWU Fund’s Emergency Needs Fund to support students with COVID-related expenses. Thank you.

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