James C Whorton
Analysis of historical development of alternative healing in American society over last two centuries. Emphasis on evolution of theory, practice, and professional institutions for major alternative systems and interactions of alternative modalities with conventional medicine. Medical background not required.
This course will examine the development of the major systems of alternative medical practice in the United States from 1800 to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the origins of each system, the development of therapy and theory, professionalization, and relations with orthodox medicine and American society. Classes will consist of informal lecture with questions and discussion encouraged.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Instruction will be accomplished through informal lecture and discussion, backed by reading. Medical training is not a prerequisite.
Assignments will consist of reading in the text. Grades will be based on performance on two exams utilizing a format of short discussion questions.
Class assignments and grading
PART I: Origins of Alternative Medicine
A. Orthodox Medicine in the Early 1800s
B. The Concept of Natural Healing: Hippocrates to 1850
C. Emergence of “Irregular” Medicine
PART II: The Nineteenth Century
B. Eclectic Medicine
D. Mesmerism: From Magnetic Healing to Christian Science
Part III : The Twentieth Century
B. Allopathic Opposition and the Decline of Alternative Medicine
C. Elevation of Professional Standards Within Alternative Medicine
D. The Holistic Revolt and Alternative Medicine
E. Acupuncture, Ayurveda, and Asian Healing Traditions
F. The 1990s: From Alternative to Complementary Medicine
Grades will be based on performance on two exams utilizing a format of short discussion questions.