Anthropology 228: Medical Anthropology

Credits 4

This course serves as an introduction to medical anthropology – addressing a wide range of topical, theoretical, and research aspects of this broad subfield. Medical anthropology begins by challenging and moving beyond the narrow, often clinical, focus of the biological dimension of illness and healing to consider how illness, disease, health, and healing are always embedded within distinct social, political, and cultural worlds. Through the application of ethnographic case studies, we’ll move and compare classic formulations of medical anthropology including sorcery, divination, and shamanism with more recent concerns with the impact and influence of scientific thinking and medical technologies, addressing the cultural implications of everything from epigenetics to CAT scans. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the intersections of biology and culture, including ongoing dialogues (and debates) between anthropology and biomedicine. Course activities will include reading ethnographies, small ethnographic research projects, and exams. May be taken for credit toward the Indigeneity, Race, and Ethnicity Studies major or minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: The Individual and Society (TIS)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Social Sciences (SO DIST)