Mary Ann Drake, Ph. D.

Spring 2012

Welcome to the WGS 383.001
AIDS: Narratives of Disease

Office: Groover 108:  Office Phone 478-301-5616

Email me at:

                                          Dr. Drake's Home Page                                                       

Calendar of Events

Class Policies

Link to Blackboard



This course gives students sufficient information for them to make informed decisions about their behaviors and their lives. Couched in an interdisciplinary format, students will confront and grapple with the biological, social, historical, psychological, gender, and cultural issues which the AIDS' pandemic represents. Books, articles, speakers, films, and classroom discussion serve as texts in the course.


Required readings will be posted on Blackboard

Service Learning at the Diversity House  

Additional sources: CDC,  


                  After completing this course, students will be able to:           

                  1. Make informed decisions about their personal and intimate relationships. 

                  2. Describe the cause and spread of HIV/AIDS. 

      3 . Articulate the gendered nature of the history, politics, and care of the HIV/AIDS population.            

                  4. Explain the continuously rising incidence rate of HIV/AIDS infection among women who are often the
                      caretakers of others.  

                  5. Characterize the effect of HIV/AIDS on the infected person's family and community.  

                  6. Chronicle an informed and compassionate response to meeting, knowing, and loving someone with

                  7. Give details of the similarities and differences faced by other cultures in a global context.  


 Attendance is required! More than three absences will affect your grade as follows: a reduction from A to B+ for the fourth absence, from B+ to B for the fifth, etc. If your grade is a C in the course, absences four and five will reduce the grade to a D. Eight or more absences  automatically means you fail the course. Attendance includes films and visits, and I take roll at the beginning of classes and events.  

Class Discussions: You are expected to participate in class discussions. We discuss sensitive materials and I expect you to be courteous and respectful. Students are required to keep a spiral journal. These journals will be used for the requisite QQTP (quotation, question, talking point) required for class preparation, your notations, comments, and thoughts on the readings, power-point presentations, responses to class activities, community service field notes, etc.

Cross Cultural Projects:  Each group of two students will pick a country and prepare a multi-media presentation of all aspects of HIV/AIDS in the country. Topics such as health, politics, class and economic factors, religion, attitude, education, etc. should be included.  

There will be two topical papers, one related to transmission, and one related to gender and culture.

All papers are to use regular margins and fonts. Do not try to decrease the size of your paper by using larger margins and fonts. Organize your thoughts around an illuminating question. Support your query with evidence from the text! Take pride in your ability to think and write. Be honest in your position regarding a text and be honest in reflecting YOUR thoughts versus the thoughts of the author, who must be cited.  

Make sure your name is on each page, number the pages, and either staple or paper clip the pages together. Papers are to be error free. If a rewrite is granted it is to be submitted no later than the Friday of the week following the week the original paper is returned. There will be no exceptions!  

Note: Do Not Email Papers. Un-paginated, un-cited, or un-stapled/clipped papers will not be accepted.  

You will assist in leading class discussions.  

Other assignments as they emerge. 

HONOR CODE: By attending Mercer you have agreed to abide by the Honor Code policies of Mercer University. Honor Code violations include cheating on tests (which does not apply here) and plagiarism (using anotherís work without giving them credit), or having someone else do your work for you.  Please avoid any questionable practices.  If you are not sure, ask me.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: Students with a documented disability should inform the instructor at the close of the first class meeting.  The instructor will refer you to the Student Support Services office for consultation regarding evaluation, documentation of your disability, and a recommendation as to the accommodation, if any, to be provided.  Students must provide instructors with an accommodation form from Student Support Services listing reasonable accommodation to sign and return to Student Support Services.  The Student Support Services office is located on the 3rd floor of the Connell Student Center.  
In order to receive full use of services, students with documented disabilities should make arrangements with the Student Support Services Office at 301-2686 as soon as possible.  Students with a documented disability who do not wish to receive services are also strongly encouraged to register with Student Support Services.  

COURTESY: Out of courtesy for all, cell phones and pagers must be turned off prior to entering my classroom or any formal academic or performance event. A ringing pager or phone earns a zero for the day. 

                  Participation/Attendance, including thoughtfulness of questions 20%
                  Cultural Multi-media Project 30%
                  Journal 30%                  
                  Papers, 10% each for a total of 20%

Scale:         90 - 100 A
                   87 - 89 B+
                  80 - 86 B
                  77 - 79 C+
                  70 - 76 C
                  60 - 69 D





Failure to turn in a paper assignment constitutes an F.  

I reserve the right to make appropriate pedagogical changes as I deem necessary.  


In her spare time Dr. Drake is a:
Fifth Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo
and a Reiki Master