David Matthew Citrin
Delineation and analysis of a specific problem or related problems in anthropology. Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty.
"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
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%)