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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Trang X. Ta
ANTH 476
Seattle Campus

Culture, Medicine, and the Body

Explores the relationship between the body and society, with emphasis on the role of medicine as a mediator between them. Case study material, primarily from contemporary bio-medicine, as well as critical, postmodern, and feminist approaches to the body introduced within a general comparative and anthropological framework.

Class description

This critical medical anthropology course explores how conceptions of the human body, health practices, and the rituals of medicine and healing are situated within cultural, historical, political, economic, social, and ethical contexts. The objective of the course is to trace how knowledge production of the human body and practices of well-being are informed and constituted by culturally varied ideological and institutional processes. The topics under examination will traverse through a range of human experiences such as birth, sexuality, illness, organ transplantation, aging, death, and life extension.

Student learning goals

Explore in a thoughtful manner the human condition from birth to death.

Develop a deeper understanding of the concepts in medical anthropology.

Practice writing skills through weekly writing assignments that relate course readings to outside material.

Exercise presentation and critical thinking skills through engagement in class discussion and presentation of web project.

General method of instruction

Seminar style discussion.

Recommended preparation

Introductory courses in medical anthropology, general science courses, and general liberal arts courses can all serve as preparation for this course.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly writing assignments, curating a website, go-post, and class participation.

Grades are based on the clarity of the presentation of ideas, perceptive analysis of the topics, insightful utilization of the course readings, and quality of written prose.


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 Trang X. Ta
Date: 09/29/2011