Current Undergraduate Courses

Jump to: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Summer 2012, or Spring 2012

Spring 2014

MHS 201, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, literature, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines. (P)

MHS 202, Global Public Health
Instructor: Abelardo Moncayo, PhD

Global Perspectives on Public Health provides an interdisciplinary introduction to some major global health issues and practices in the developing and the developed world. In particular, the course will nurture critical thinking about global health challenges, strategies, and solutions. The course incorporates lecture, discussion, critical analytical exercises, case studies, and guest specialists from a variety of fields. (P)

MHS 203, US Public Health Ethics and Policy
Instructor: Elizabeth Heitman, PhD

Critical perspectives on ethical and policy issues in US public health. (P)

MHS 204, Global Health and Social Justice
Instructor: Dominique Behague

MHS 205W, Medicine and Literature
Instructor: Lindsey Andrews, PhD

This is one of our core courses: Examines the role of narrative in medicine, health, and healing. Readings and discussions will focus on what insights literature and the creative arts can bring to our understanding of medicine, bioethics, and the human condition. Areas to be covered include: doctor-patient relationship; metaphors of illness; stigmatization and suffering; individuals and communities in global contexts; epidemics; and medical experimentation. (HCA)

MHS 211, Health Social Movements
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

MHS 212, War and the Body
Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

The impact of war on the human body. Anthropology of the body and theories of bodily experience. Production, representation, and experience of war, military and medical technologies on a bodily level. Acceptable and unacceptable types of harm. No credit for students who completed 290 section 2 in fall 2012. (P)

MHS 216, Afrofuturism and Cultural Criticisms of Medicine
Instructor: Lindsey Andrews, PhD

MHS 218, Health, Development and Culture in Guatemala

Instructors: Avery Dickons de Girón, PhD., Jill Fisher, PhD

MHS 220, Narrative Medicine
Instructor: Scott Pearson, MD

As the field of medicine becomes increasingly technology driven and information rich, doctors are finding it harder to listen to and respond to their patients. As a result, patients feel less understood and have begun to devalue the clinical experience. In response to this dilemma, medical schools are beginning to train students in the field of literature in programs known as Narrative Medicine. The premise of such an approach is that through close attention to patients’ stories, physicians will learn to appreciate the experiences of their patients. In this course, we will dissect the doctor-patient relationship as illustrated by illness narratives and other literary works. (HCA)

MHS 225, Death & Dying in America
Instructor: Joseph Fanning, PhD

How do we and should we understand and respond to death, dying, and bereavement in America? This course explores our inheritance of attitudes, vocabularies, social practices, and institutions that cultivate and constrain our actions and thoughts about death. Influential texts and core concepts across a range of disciplines will be introduced and used to analyze and reflect on multiple mediations of death in contemporary society. The class will combine theoretical readings, lectures, discussion, analytical exercises, and experiential components. Students will also volunteer 20-25 hours at relevant agencies, e.g. Alive Hospice, and keep a journal analyzing their experiences in light of course materials, themes, and concepts. (P)

MHS 234, Men’s Health Research
Instructor: Derek Griffith, PhD

MHS 237, Caring for Vulnerable Populations
Instructor: Carol Etherington, MSN

An interdisciplinary approach to the care of vulnerable populations with an emphasis on the evolvement of humanitarian aid and the risks and responsibilities in providing it. Students will examine geopolitical, cultural, clinical and practical factors that impact high risk groups of people and that shape the scope and type of assessments and interventions offered during chronic and acute crises of war, civil conflict and disaster.

MHS 240, Social Capital and Health
Instructor: Lijun Song, PhD

MHS 242, Bionic Bodies, Cultural Cyborgs
Instructor: Aimi Hamraie, PhD

MHS 244, Medicine, Law and Society
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to major issues in medicine and law including the physician-patient relationship, medical malpractice, physician and patient decision-making rights, healthcare financing and the power of the government to protect the public’s health. Students will be challenged to think critically about the appropriate role of the law in matters of individual and public health. (SBS)

MHS 250, Autism
Instructor: Elisabeth Sandberg, PhD

MHS 254, Perspectives on Trama
Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

Spring 2013

ANTH 242, Biology of Inequality
Instructor: Amy L. Non, PhD

Explores the biological consequences of racial and social inequalities including the role of psychosocial stress resulting from discrimination, racism, poverty, neighborhood violence, among other stressors, in affecting the health of minority populations and across different strata of socioeconomic status. Examines ways to measure the health impact of these sociocultural and environmental factors, through studies that test their associations with disease and precursors to disease, including measures of molecular biology (e.g. epigenetics, gene expression, telomeres), and biomarkers of inflammation, cardiometabolic health, and immune function.

MHS 99, Measuring Health
Instructor: Martha Jones, PhD

MHS 99, The Greatest Debate: DNA v. Divinity
Instructor: Thomas Morgan, MD

This course takes up the great debate about the reasonableness of belief in God in the post-genomic era. To what extent is modern genetic theory sufficient to explain human existence? Did God deliberately create deoxyribonucleic acid from the atomic stardust of the Big Bang, or are humans merely the perplexing byproduct of random chemical collisions and subsequent evolution by natural selection?

MHS 99, Literature and Medicine
Instructor: Amanda Yunker, DO, MSCR and Ted Anderson, MD, PhD

Although only a small proportion of society chooses to enter the healthcare field as a career choice, all of society interacts with the healthcare field in some manner. The perception of illness and our ability to treat it is shaped by those interactions. In this course, we will examine those interactions through literature, both in previously published works, as well as through our own writing. Topics covered will include disparities in healthcare access, death and dying, chronic illness, and doctor-patient relationships.

MHS 99, Medical Mishaps
Instructor: Manish Sethi, MD and Alex Jahangir, MD

MHS 115F, Medicine, Health, and the Body
Instructor: Marian Yagel, PhD

This course explores the way medicine shapes our understanding of health and the body in contemporary American society. Focusing on medicine as both science and social phenomenon, we will investigate several interrelated questions: How does medicine classify the body as sick or healthy? How do individual and collective experiences of health and disease influence medical theory and practice? And how do social and cultural factors influence medicine’s potential impact on health and the body?

MHS 201, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, literature, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines. (P)

MHS 202, Global Public Health
Instructor: Abelardo Moncayo, PhD

Global Perspectives on Public Health provides an interdisciplinary introduction to some major global health issues and practices in the developing and the developed world. In particular, the course will nurture critical thinking about global health challenges, strategies, and solutions. The course incorporates lecture, discussion, critical analytical exercises, case studies, and guest specialists from a variety of fields. (P)

MHS 203, US Public Health Ethics and Policy
Instructor: Elizabeth Heitman, PhD

Critical perspectives on ethical and policy issues in US public health. (P)

MHS 205W, Medicine and Literature
Instructor: Marian Yagel, PhD

This is one of our core courses: Examines the role of narrative in medicine, health, and healing. Readings and discussions will focus on what insights literature and the creative arts can bring to our understanding of medicine, bioethics, and the human condition. Areas to be covered include: doctor-patient relationship; metaphors of illness; stigmatization and suffering; individuals and communities in global contexts; epidemics; and medical experimentation. (HCA)

MHS 208, American Medicine and the World
Instructor: Laura Stark, PhD

Social foundations of medical authority. Health disparities in the United States and abroad. Effects of social settings of medical research, evaluation, and treatment on health outcomes. Inequalities in medical knowledge and institutions. No credit for students who completed 290 section 3 in fall 2012. [3] (P)

MHS 212, War and the Body
Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

The impact of war on the human body. Anthropology of the body and theories of bodily experience. Production, representation, and experience of war, military and medical technologies on a bodily level. Acceptable and unacceptable types of harm. No credit for students who completed 290 section 2 in fall 2012. (P)

MHS 220, Narrative Medicine: Stories of Illness and the Doctor-Patient Relationship
Instructor: Scott Pearson, MD

As the field of medicine becomes increasingly technology driven and information rich, doctors are finding it harder to listen to and respond to their patients. As a result, patients feel less understood and have begun to devalue the clinical experience. In response to this dilemma, medical schools are beginning to train students in the field of literature in programs known as Narrative Medicine. The premise of such an approach is that through close attention to patients’ stories, physicians will learn to appreciate the experiences of their patients. In this course, we will dissect the doctor-patient relationship as illustrated by illness narratives and other literary works. (HCA)

MHS 225, Death & Dying in America
Instructor: Joseph Fanning, PhD

How do we and should we understand and respond to death, dying, and bereavement in America? This course explores our inheritance of attitudes, vocabularies, social practices, and institutions that cultivate and constrain our actions and thoughts about death. Influential texts and core concepts across a range of disciplines will be introduced and used to analyze and reflect on multiple mediations of death in contemporary society. The class will combine theoretical readings, lectures, discussion, analytical exercises, and experiential components. Students will also volunteer 20-25 hours at relevant agencies, e.g. Alive Hospice, and keep a journal analyzing their experiences in light of course materials, themes, and concepts. (P)

MHS 237, Risks and Responsibilities in Caring for Vulnerable Populations
Instructor: Carol Etherington, MSN

An interdisciplinary approach to the care of vulnerable populations with an emphasis on the evolvement of humanitarian aid and the risks and responsibilities in providing it. Students will examine geopolitical, cultural, clinical and practical factors that impact high risk groups of people and that shape the scope and type of assessments and interventions offered during chronic and acute crises of war, civil conflict and disaster.

MHS 244, Medicine, Law and Society
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to major issues in medicine and law including the physician-patient relationship, medical malpractice, physician and patient decision-making rights, healthcare financing and the power of the government to protect the public’s health. Students will be challenged to think critically about the appropriate role of the law in matters of individual and public health. (SBS)

MHS 248, Medical Humanities
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

Research seminar. Medical Humanities takes as its subject the sum total of creative leaps between everyday life and the medical encounter. These creative leaps can be explored as constellations: art, history, music, poetry & literature, anthropology, and philosophy, to name a few. This course will explore art, music, philosophy and literature (including poetry and drama) from three perspectives, or constellations: The interface between the named disciplines and medicine, the practice of Humanities-using physicians and health care professionals, and the application of the Humanities for treatment purposes (art & music therapy as an example). Limited to juniors and seniors. (HCA)

MHS 250, Autism in Context
Instructor: Elizabeth Sandberg, PhD

Multiple manifestations. Impact, questions and debates. A variety of contexts will be examined: familial, educational, sociological, legal, and medical. Must be at least a sophomore. (SBS)

MHS 290-02, Special Topic: Making the Modern Hospital
Instructor: Laura Stark, PhD

Examines how the design and architecture of hospitals has changed over 500 year. Explores how the place of care has shifted and is presently organized differently in non-US settings. Considers why the place of case has shifted because of legal, economic, demographic, scientific and cultural changes or differences. Focuses on the consequences for the experience and organization of health care. Examples include asylums, infirmaries, homes, theaters of war, mobile clinics, and modern research hospitals. Student will research one site as a case study, and produce a final portfolio based on the research.

MHS 290-03, Special Topic: Research on Men’s Health
Instructor: Derek Griffith, PhD

Examines why men’s social and economic advantages do not translate to better health outcomes.  We will explore global and domestic issues in men’s health, particularly in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.  By the end of the course, students will be able to articulate key concepts and theories that explain men’s health, differentiate strategies to improve men’s health, understand relationships between cultural values and health policy and describe how cultural explanations for men’s health outcomes shape advertising around various men’s health services and campaigns.  This course is open to all who are interested in understanding how to begin systematically thinking about and addressing men’s health and men’s health disparities. No prerequisites are required.

MHS 290-04, Special Topic: Race, Ethnicity and Health

Instructor: Derek Griffith, PhD

Examines the complex and controversial relationship between health outcomes and race and ethnicity.  Together, we will explore explanations of the problems of health disparities as well as strategies to reduce these differences.  In particular, we will use lectures, discussion, small group exercises, videos, and case studies to explore historical and contemporary factors that influence a number of health outcomes, including mental health, HIV/AIDS, and various chronic diseases. We will examine areas where the health of White Americans is better than other racial groups and areas where the health of Whites is worse.  Students will gain practical experience and skills to help them critique theories and research that explain racial disparities in health. This course is open to all who are interested in exploring how people in different professions and disciplines think about and address the relationships between race, ethnicity and health. No prerequisites are required.

MHS 295-01, Perspectives on Trauma

Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

In the contemporary US, trauma is one of the most powerful categories that we use to understand suffering. This one category encompasses responses to a whole diversity of trials, from war and genocide, to accidents and disasters, to abuse and assault. Trauma helps makes sense of experiences that might otherwise be unthinkable. The shared suffering from which some traumas arise can be a powerful basis for identity and a source of marginalized or erased histories. The diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder—applied to an ever-broader range of circumstances and experiences—can help provide access to psychiatric resources and offers the stamp of medical legitimacy to private suffering. The very notion of trauma, however, has a complicated history and a complicated present life. It reaches into areas as diverse as medicine, war, politics, and racial, sexual and gender inequalities. It frames how we understand our own experiences, and how we recognize the pain of others. This reading-focused seminar will examine trauma from a largely cultural perspective. It will acquaint students with the origins and genealogy of trauma, examine contemporary incarnations of and responses to trauma (including posttraumatic stress disorder), and explore alternative ways of talking about feeling, suffering, and memory. No prerequisites are required.

MHS 296. Independent Study.

A program of reading and/or research in one area of MHS studies to be selected in consultation with an adviser. Normally limited to qualified MHS minors or majors. May be taken no more than two times, and not twice from the same professor. Approval of faculty adviser and MHS program director required. FALL, SPRING. [Variable credit: 1–3] (No AXLE Credit)

MHS 298-01. Honors Thesis.
Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. SPRING [3] Staff. (No AXLE Credit)

Fall 2012

MHS 115F, Medicine, Health, and the Body
Instructor: Marian Yagel, PhD

Explores the way medicine shapes our understanding of health and the body in contemporary American society. Focusing on medicine as both science and social phenomenon, we will investigate several interrelated questions: How does medicine classify the body as sick or healthy? How do individual and collective experiences of health and disease influence medical theory and practice? And how do social and cultural factors influence medicine’s potential impact on health and the body? TR, 11:00-12:15

MHS 201, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, literature, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology.  Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines. MWF, 1:10-2:00

MHS 205W, Medicine and Literature
Instructor:  Marian Yagel, PhD

Examines the role of narrative in medicine, health, and healing.  Readings and discussions will focus on what insights literature and the creative arts can bring to our understanding of medicine, bioethics, and the human condition. Areas to be covered include: doctor-patient relationship; metaphors of illness; stigmatization and suffering; individuals and communities in global contexts; epidemics; and medical experimentation.  TR, 2:35-3:50

MHS 220, Narrative Medicine: Stories of Illness and the Doctor-Patient Relationship
Instructor: Scott Pearson, MD

As the field of medicine becomes increasingly technology driven and information rich, doctors are finding it harder to listen to and respond to their patients.   As a result, patients feel less understood and have begun to devalue the clinical experience. In response to this dilemma, medical schools are beginning to train students in the field of literature in programs known as Narrative Medicine. The premise of such an approach is that through close attention to patients’ stories, physicians will learn to appreciate the experiences of their patients. In this course, we will dissect the doctor-patient relationship as illustrated by illness narratives and other literary works. T, 12:30-3:00

MHS 235, Community Health Research
Instructor: Barbara Clinton, MSW

Students will design or implement strategies to address community health needs.  Working with community mentors, the students will identify unmet community health needs, learn how non-profit organizations address these needs, and provide tools and solutions to enhance community health.  W, 1:10-3:40
APPLICATION Requires instructor approval.

MHS 236, HIV/AIDS in the Global Community
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Explores the medical, cultural, social, political, economic, and public policy dimensions of HIV/AIDS on a global level. It focuses upon HIV prevention and treatment strategies, social stigma and discrimination and the influence of HIV/AIDS on other aspects of society and culture.  MWF, 11:10-12:00

MHS 245, Medicine, Science and Technology
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Examines the impact of scientific and technological innovations on medicine and society. It will analyze a variety of topics, including the tension between art and science in medicine, the effect of science and technology on the doctor-patient relationship, as well as the social and ethical issues raised by new biomedical developments. Research seminar. R, 12:30-3:00

MHS 248, Medicine, Religion, and Spirituality
Instructor: Marian Yagel, PhD

Research seminar: Explores the relationship between medicine and religion, and how that relationship affects individuals, families and communities as they deal with such life events as birth, serious illness, injury, disability, war and death. Sources include fiction, poetry, drama, film, and texts.  M, 12:30-3:00

MHS 290-01, Special Topic: Health Social Movements
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

Health social movements (HSMs) are an important political force concerning health access and quality of care, as well as for broader social change. HSMs make many challenges to political power, professional authority and personal and collective identity. The three ideal types of HSMs: health access movements, constituency-based health movements, and embodied health movements address (a) access to, or provision of, health-care services; (b) health inequality and inequity based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and/or sexuality (c) disease, illness experience, disability and contested illness, and challenging science on etiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.  MWF, 11:10-12:00

MHS 290-02, Special Topic: War and the Body
Instructor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

War is one of the most destructive of all human behaviors, but also one of the most enduring. This course examines war through its impacts on the human body. It will acquaint students with the anthropology of the body and bodily experience, and will critically examine how war is produced, represented, and experienced in our society. While war is often talked about in abstract terms, it only becomes real through its effects on bodies: war defines people as bodies that must be protected, or that are trained to kill, or that are allowed to die. It exposes humans to a range of military and medical technologies that they experience on a bodily level. War presents images of bodies that have been subjected to violence or that are equipped to carry out violence. And it informs our ideas as a society about what kinds of harm are acceptable and what kinds are not. The course readings include ethnographies of various aspects of war, works by social theorists that anthropologists have drawn on to better understand violence and bodily experience, and analysis and examples from popular culture. The course takes a historical and international approach, but many of the examples will focus on contemporary issues related to U.S. war-making.  TR, 11:00-12:15

MHS 290-03, Special Topic: American Medicine and the World
Instructor: Laura Stark, PhD

The goal of the course is to introduce students to the social foundations of medical authority, and to the processes through which health disparities are created in the US and abroad. The course explores how the social settings of medical research, evaluation, and treatment affect health outcomes; how the credibility of medical expertise is created, defended, and challenged; and how inequalities are built into medical knowledge and institutions. The readings will focus on modern Western medicine, but we will also read several historical and cross-national studies for comparison.  TR, 9:35-10:50

MHS 290-04, Special Topic: Global Public Health
Instructor: Dominique Behague, PhD

How do social, moral, political and economic issues influence the way in which global health problems are conceptualized? What are the implications of these conceptions for public policy and practice? This course addresses these questions by focusing on how the social sciences, and medical anthropology in particular, can contribute to the development of critical, innovative and interdisciplinary perspectives in global health. Set against the backdrop of a historical understanding of how global health has changed over the past 50 years, class sessions will explore the limitations of cognitive and behaviorist ways of thinking, the reification of “culture,” and the challenges of using a political economy framework in global health research and programs. These conceptual issues will be exemplified through a range of thematic topics, including maternal health, infectious diseases, mental illness, adolescent health, and evidence-based policy-making. Drawing on ethnographic texts, medical journals, policy reports, media sources, and film, students will be encouraged to apply their knowledge through seminar discussions and practical sessions. MW, 9:35-10:50

MHS 290-05. Special Topic: Men’s Health and the Politics of Masculinity
Instructor: Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD

This course will explore the deceptively complex topic of “men’s health” using an interdisciplinary approach.  We will study questions such as, “what is men’s health, and who defines it?,” “how do cultural norms of masculinity impact longevity?,” and “why do men live shorter lives than women?”  We will focus centrally on understanding how “men” and “masculinity” are not monolithic terms, but are instead shaped by such factors as historical contexts, social mores, race, ethnicity, and social class.  As such we will critically analyze notions of the healthy male through such diverse sources as medical journals, popular films, protest memoirs, public health campaigns, and scientific studies, and through such diverse viewpoints as biomedicine, public health, psychoanalysis, sociology, critical race studies, gender/GLBTQ studies, and neuroscience.  The course has three sections:  Theories (e.g., models of masculinity, theoretical approaches, histories of masculinity); Bodies (e.g., specific examples of mens illness and health in the US and globally; medical bodies; idealized and abject bodies), and Cultures (e.g., sports; the men’s movement;  men’s health activism; popular culture).  These subjects will be explored with a focus on understanding gender as a relational concept, and as such this course welcomes students of all genders and backgrounds.  T, 2:10-5:00

MHS 295-02. Undergraduate Seminar: Culture, Psychiatry and Mental Health
Instructor: Dominique Behague, PhD

This course introduces students to debates in the cross-cultural analysis of mental illness, the emergence of cultural psychiatry, and the globalization of biopsychiatry and neuroscience. After reviewing key approaches in the anthropology of biomedicine, students will be taught the importance of studying mental health practitioners, scientists and institutions as socio-cultural entities. Theoretical framings will explore key concepts of biopower, governmentality, therapeutic citizenship and local biologies. Students will apply this theoretical knowledge by working through diverse themes, including psychopharmaceuticals, addiction, developmental disorders, child and adolescent psychiatry, the intersection of reproductive and mental health, and the medicalization of life-cycle transitions. Students will be encouraged to apply their knowledge through seminar discussions, practical sessions, and the analysis of primary research material.  W, 2:10-5:00

MHS 296. Independent Study. A program of reading and/or research in one area of MHS studies to be selected in consultation with an adviser. Normally limited to qualified MHS minors or majors. May be taken no more than two times, and not twice from the same professor. Approval of faculty adviser and MHS program director required. FALL, SPRING. [Variable credit: 1–3] (No AXLE Credit) Staff

MHS 297-01. Honors Thesis. Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. FALL [3] Staff. (No AXLE Credit)


Summer 2012

MHS 201, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, literature, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology. Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines. First-half, M-F, 1:10-3:00

MHS 202, Global Public Health
Instructor: Abelardo Moncayo, PhD

Global Perspectives on Public Health provides an interdisciplinary introduction to some major global health issues and practices in the developing and the developed world. In particular, the course will nurture critical thinking about global health challenges, strategies, and solutions. The course incorporates lecture, discussion, critical analytical exercises, case studies, and guest specialists from a variety of fields. Second-half, M-F, 4:10-6:00

Spring 2012

MHS 115F, Medicine, Health, and the Body
Instructor: Marian Yagel, PhD

This course explores the way medicine shapes our understanding of health and the body in contemporary American society. Focusing on medicine as both science and social phenomenon, we will investigate several interrelated questions: How does medicine classify the body as sick or healthy? How do individual and collective experiences of health and disease influence medical theory and practice? And how do social and cultural factors influence medicine’s potential impact on health and the body?

MHS 201, Fundamental Issues in Medicine, Health, and Society
Instructor: Courtney Muse, PhD

A multidisciplinary introduction to the study of medicine, health, and society, drawing on the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, literature, political science and policy studies, philosophy, religious studies, and sociology.  Guest lectures by representatives of the various disciplines.

MHS 202, Global Public Health
Instructor: Abelardo Moncayo, PhD

Global Perspectives on Public Health provides an interdisciplinary introduction to some major global health issues and practices in the developing and the developed world.  In particular, the course will nurture critical thinking about global health challenges, strategies, and solutions. The course incorporates lecture, discussion, critical analytical exercises, case studies, and guest specialists from a variety of fields.

MHS 205W, Medicine and Literature
Instructor:  Marian Yagel, PhD

This is one of our core courses: Examines the role of narrative in medicine, health, and healing.  Readings and discussions will focus on what insights literature and the creative arts can bring to our understanding of medicine, bioethics, and the human condition. Areas to be covered include: doctor-patient relationship; metaphors of illness; stigmatization and suffering; individuals and communities in global contexts; epidemics; and medical experimentation.

MHS 225, Death & Dying in America
Instructor: Joseph Fanning, PhD

How do we and should we understand and respond to death, dying, and bereavement in America?  This course explores our inheritance of attitudes, vocabularies, social practices, and institutions that cultivate and constrain our actions and thoughts about death. Influential texts and core concepts across a range of disciplines will be introduced and used to analyze and reflect on multiple mediations of death in contemporary society. The class will combine theoretical readings, lectures, discussion, analytical exercises, and experiential components. Students will also volunteer 20-25 hours at relevant agencies, e.g. Alive Hospice, and keep a journal analyzing their experiences in light of course materials, themes, and concepts.

MHS 237, Risks and Responsibilities in Caring for Vulnerable Populations
Instructor: Carol Etherington, MSN

An interdisciplinary approach to the care of vulnerable populations with an emphasis on the evolvement of humanitarian aid and the risks and responsibilities in providing it. Students will examine geopolitical, cultural, clinical and practical factors that impact high risk groups of people and that shape the scope and type of assessments and interventions offered during chronic and acute crises of war, civil conflict and disaster.

MHS 238, Pharmaceuticals, Politics & Culture
Instructor: Jill Fisher, PhD

How do prescription drugs come to market? What are the political, economic, and cultural factors that shape the drugs that are available in the U.S. and around the world? This course focuses on the processes of drug development and marketing to explore the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare systems. The course will cover such topics as the U.S government’s role in regulating drugs, the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to define the range and cost of drug treatments, physicians’ problematic associations with pharmaceutical companies, and patients’ identities as consumers of prescription drugs.

MHS 240, Social Capital & Health
Instructor: Lijun Song, PhD

This course introduces the association between social capital and health. Social capital is resources embedded in social networks. It is a relatively new but burgeoning relationship-based theoretical tool in the health sciences. We will apply multiple approaches to social capital to examine the social production of disease and illness. The three themes covered in this course include 1) the conceptualization of social capital, 2) the measurement of social capital, and 3) various indicators of social capital as social antecedents of health.

MHS 244, Medicine, Law and Society
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to major issues in medicine and law including the physician-patient relationship, medical malpractice, physician and patient decision-making rights, healthcare financing and the power of the government to protect the public’s health. Students will be challenged to think critically about the appropriate role of the law in matters of individual and public health.

MHS 248, Medical Humanities
Instructor: Marian Yagel McBay, PhD

Research seminar. Medical Humanities takes as its subject the sum total of creative leaps between everyday life and the medical encounter. These creative leaps can be explored as constellations: art, history, music, poetry & literature, anthropology, and philosophy, to name a few. This course will explore art, music, philosophy and literature (including poetry and drama) from three perspectives, or constellations: The interface between the named disciplines and medicine, the practice of Humanities-using physicians and health care professionals, and the application of the Humanities for treatment purposes (art & music therapy as an example). Limited to juniors and seniors.

MHS 295-01, Healthcare Organizations
Instructor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

We spend most of our waking hours in organizations, and our participation in organizations has a powerful impact on our views of the world and the choices we make. Health is no exception. Healthcare involves a broad array of organizations including hospitals, nursing homes, professional societies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, public health departments, state Medicaid agencies, etc. This course explores how organizations shape our views of health and illness, the activities needed to achieve health, and who is entitled to provide and receive those activities. Course topics include major changes in the U.S. health delivery system, the roles of professional and non-professional staff, and the experience of patients and families in complex healthcare organizations. In spring 2012, the course will pay special attention to the organization of health in Nashville as part of a conference being planned by MHS on the politics of health in Nashville. This is a seminar course open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Course work will include a conference-related project, research paper and active discussion of assigned readings.

MHS 296. Independent Study.
A program of reading and/or research in one area of MHS studies to be selected in consultation with an adviser. Normally limited to qualified MHS minors or majors. May be taken no more than two times, and not twice from the same professor. Approval of faculty adviser and MHS program director required. FALL, SPRING. [Variable credit: 1–3] (No AXLE Credit)

MHS 298-01. Honors Thesis.
Limited to seniors admitted to the departmental honors program. SPRING [3] Staff. (No AXLE Credit)