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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David Matthew Citrin
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

"Comparative Systems of Healing." This course will introduce some aspects of the field of medical anthropology, paying particular attention to the diversity of ways in which humans view and experience the body, conceptualize health and ill-health, and engage in healing practices. Through ethnographic readings, films, and class discussions we will consider how ideas, behaviors, and opportunities associated with health and healing are impacted by culture, power, knowledge, politics and institutions. We will explore such issues as why Western biomedicine has become the dominant medical paradigm in the U.S. and, increasingly, around the world, and how health, the fulfillment of basic needs, and processes of healing are altered as a result. Together, as we examine health and health care systems in a variety of historical, socio-cultural, geopolitical, and ethical contexts, we will have the opportunity to compare differences, but also to consider points of contact and connection between these systems.

Student learning goals

(1) to explore and gain a working knowledge of theoretical approaches and issues in medical anthropology,

(2) to develop analytical skills that will help us think critically and ask new questions about health, illness, medicine, and healing

(3) to think about how anthropological thinking can be applied to solving real world problems and perils

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

1) Class participation and attendance (10%)

2) Firsthand account of health, sickness, or healing: description, reflection, discussion (25%)

3) Go-posts (15%)

4) short essays (2, each worth 25%)


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 David Matthew Citrin
Date: 02/16/2009