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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Bettina Shell-Duncan
UCONJ 504
Seattle Campus

Advanced Interdisciplinary Case Studies in Global Health

Uses actual multidisciplinary case studies to (1) analyze quantitative parameters of diseases, (2) contrast the descriptive and analytic approaches of health sciences, anthropology, and nutritional sciences, (3) integrate diverse disciplinary perspectives into cohesive information, (4) organize class presentations, and (5) apply critical thinking in approaching complex health issues. Offered: Sp.

Class description

Overview: This seminar functions as the capstone for the graduate certificate programs and for other graduates and upper division undergraduates 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

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 ANTH 469E. Advanced undergraduates should enroll in Anth 469, and graduate students should enroll in UCONJ 504. We welcome students with a broad range of training, expertise and experience, particularly those who have worked on health-related issues in international or underserved Western settings.

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: 02/24/2009