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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Bettina Shell-Duncan
ANTH 469
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Anthropology

Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in anthropology. Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty.

Class description

Overview: This seminar functions as the capstone for undergraduates completing the Medical Anthropology and Global Health track in Anthropology, as well as upper division undergraduates from other majors desiring a unifying educational experience focusing on global health. The seminar uses a problem-based, case-study approach that emphasizes the role of multidisciplinary collaboration. Students will consider the case studies and be exposed to legal, ethical, social and policy analyses of the issues and possible solutions incumbent in a given case study. Students will develop an ability to delve deeply into the underlying causes of a given global health problem, research and study the problem from different perspectives, and work together to posit possible solutions. Because the students will come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, we anticipate lively and challenging engagement in the seminar topic.

Structure This course will be taught in three modules, each focusing on a single case, each taught by a different professor. There will be six segments per module. The topics for the segments each case of the module are broken down to generally address to the following themes:

Intro to topic Why is this a priority? What kind of evidence is needed to evaluate and address this case topic? What kind of evidence is out there? How does institutional capacity affect the problem and the process? Population vs. individual level outcomes Ethical issues

Topics for Spring 2009 The cases that have been selected to be taught this spring are: 1. HIV, taught by Professor Martina Morris 2. Female Genital Cutting, taught by Professor Bettina Shell-Duncan 3. TBA

Student learning goals

At the end of the seminar students will have the ability to: 1) describe the case studies covered analytically considering quantitative parameters such as populations affected, and resulting burden of disease in affected societies

2) contrast the descriptive and analytic approaches taken by the disciplines represented in the seminar towards the three case studies: health sciences, anthropology and other social sciences.

3) integrate diverse disciplinary perspectives into cohesive information about the individual case studies

4) organize diverse disciplinary information resources for presentation in class discussion

5) consistently apply and demand critical thinking in approaching complex health issues such as those presented in the selected cases.

General method of instruction

As a 3 credit course meeting 2 times per week, we will utilize class time for a combination guided discussions pertaining to readings, films and critical evaluation of debated issues. Students will be asked to prepare a series of position papers regarding the debated topics, and these papers will serve as the basis for discussion.

Recommended preparation

This course is cross-listed with UCONJ 504 and GH 509. Advanced undergraduates should enroll in Anth 469, and graduate students should enroll in UCONJ 504 or GH 509. We welcome students with a broad range of expertise and experience. Undergraduates are expected to have a background in medical anthropology, biocultural anthropology, or health-related issues in social sciences. We particularly seek students with international health-related experience or with expertise on health-related issues in underserved Western populations.

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Bettina Shell-Duncan
Date: 02/17/2009