Emory is home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Injury Control Research Center- only 1 of 11 in the nation. In addition, the National Safety Council and World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Community Safety designated Emory a “Safe Community”- making it the second university in the nation and the only community in Georgia with this honor. Emory has over 40 faculty currently involved in teaching or scholarship in violence from disciplines ranging from film studies to religion to medicine. Given the multidisciplinary nature of violence, a multidisciplinary course is needed at Emory to allow for intellectual inquiry among undergraduate students, graduate students, professional students, and faculty to better understand and subsequently decrease this epidemic.

Violence is a leading cause of death, disability and health care use in the United States as well as worldwide. Although significant progress has been made in the last few decades, there remains a great need to further reduce the frequency of violence and its sequelae. Violence causes approximately 50,000 deaths each year and over 2.5 million injuries in the US each year, with an estimated annual cost of $70 billion (CDC, 2007). Furthermore, violence does not occur in a vacuum; the consequences are also felt through other medical conditions and health behaviors and individuals, families, and communities affected by violence are often irreparably altered.

In this course undergraduate, graduate, and professional students will come together to investigate various aspects of the violence epidemic. Violence is a complex problem and can only be understood and reduced though a multidisciplinary approach. The course will cover the epidemiology of violence; roots of violence including biological, psychological, and social causes (e.g., economic deprivation, religious factors); specific types of violence; media and the arts portrayal of violence; the business/economic impact of violence; physical and mental consequence; and ways to control and prevent violence in our communities, including criminal justice and public health approaches.

We will bring together faculty and students from different disciplines and different units of the University—with both graduate and undergraduate students eligible and encouraged to participate. Participating units include Emory College and Laney Graduate School—including the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Law School; Medical School; Nursing School; School of Public Health, and School of Theology. Through these perspectives, the course will demonstrate the ways in which multi-disciplinary scholarship can deepen our understanding of the complexities of violence in local, national, and global contexts. The students will write periodic critical reflections using social media to allow a larger community to read about these discussions and topics. Our speakers are well known experts in these areas and have worked to develop a cohesive and comprehensive curriculum.

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Practice in critical writing and thinking, discussion, and group work presentation.

2. Demonstrate preliminary knowledge of the history and present of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

3. Engage with interdisciplinary methods and practices while participating in the class and then apply these methods and practices in assignments and group work.

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