Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2010-2011
HIS 494 (HA)   na, npdf

Broken Brains, Shattered Minds: Disease and Experience in the History of Neuroscience

Katja Guenther

An exploration of the complex relationship between the making of brain science and the human experiences of brain damaged people. Topics include iconic cases of brain damage like the railway worker Phineas Gage who survived an iron rod perforating his brain, the emergence and historical function of neurological case histories, the study of brain-damaged soldiers in WWI, the 'neurological novels' of Alexander Luria, and the popular writings of Oliver Sacks.

Sample reading list:
A. R. Luria, The Mind of a Mnemonist
Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Thomas DeBaggio, Losing My Mind
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Temple Grandin, Thinking in Pictures
Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 150-200 pages of reading per week. Two 8-10 page papers. Students will co-lead a portion of one session.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 30%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Other information:
View a video clip of Prof. Guenther discussing HIS 494

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
26695 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm T   Scheide Caldwell House   209   Enrolled:15 Limit:10 Closed