Infection is situated at the intersection of social and biological experience. This course examines why infectious disease occupies such a central position in our contemporary understanding of health. It examines the many theoretical and methodological approaches currently used to understand how humans experience infectious illness. Perspectives from bioarchaeology, demography, environmental anthropology, medical history, biocultural anthropology, and medical anthropology are used to examine the way epidemics and infections have been understood throughout human history and how those understandings continue to shape human perceptions of risk, the body and identity. Social inequality is a major focus of inquiry; the course explores how colonialism, globalization and injustice lead to significant and persistent health inequalities for many populations.