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Course Details

Spring 2011-2012
ANT 335 (EM)   na, npdf

Medical Anthropology

João Biehl
Carolyn B. Eisert

Medical anthropology looks at the interaction of illness, social environment, and medicine from a cross-cultural perspective. It compares non-medical models of disease causality and healing with biomedical ones, and explores how social and technological inequalities shape disease and health outcomes. Students learn to collect and interpret individual illness narratives as well as to assess the cultural and political dynamics of global health problems. The course draws from ethnography, medical journals, media reports and films.

Sample reading list:
Fadiman, Anne., The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Farmer, Paul., Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and...the Poor
Gawande, Atul., Complications. A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
Biehl, João., Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment
Petryna, Adriana., Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl
Bourgois, Philippe & Schonberg, Jeff., Righteous Dopefiend

Reading/Writing assignments:
A weekly 1-pg summary of questions & comments that arise during the readings. A short-paper (6-8 pg): analysis of an interview you conducted with a person who has experienced some clinical misfortune and/or treatment (biomedical or other). A research paper (10-12 pg) addressing the social dimensions of a disease, epidemic & health responses or the development and usage of a new medical technology. Community-based research is encouraged.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Quizzes - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Other (See Instructor) - 20%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Other information:
This course is designed for students in the social sciences, humanities, and biological sciences.

Reserved Seats:
Open to ANT Concentrators Only 25
Sophomores Only 30
Juniors Only 15

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
41214 L01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm M   Aaron Burr Hall   219   Enrolled:71 Limit:70 Closed
41213 C01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm W   Aaron Burr Hall   219   Enrolled:71 Limit:80