William & Mary

COLL 300 "Bodies that Matter"

  • Students at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk
    Students at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk    Iyabo Obasanjo
  • Students at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk
    Students at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk    Iyabo Obasanjo
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As part of the on-campus COLL 300, students in the Introduction to Global Health course taught by Dr. Obasanjo, visited the Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk.  The purpose of the visit was to study the effect of the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1855 on the city and county of Norfolk.  Donna Bluemink, a historian who documented the deaths from the epidemic, took the students on a tour of the gravestones of the doctors, ministers and ordinary citizens who died during the epidemic and are buried at the Cemetery.  Robert Hitchings, a historian, formally for Norfolk city and now for Cheasapeake, went through the effects of the outbreak on the life of the citizenry of the town and county of Norfolk.  The attached pictures show the students at the Cemetery.

The COLL 300 course is part of the COLL curriculum at the College and the purpose of the COLL 300 courses is to introduce students to ideas outside their sphere of direct experience and challenge their ways of thinking even it causes a them to be a little uncomfortable. The COLL 300 theme for the Fall semester is “Bodies that Matter”.  The visit included seeing the Black cemetery next to the White one, and contrasting the graves of the Doctors who passed to those of lesser known individuals. Attached is the picture of the grave of Dr. George Upshur who died of Yellow Fever after treating many patients during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1855 in Norfolk.