Subject: History
Credit units: 3
Offered: Either Term 1 or Term 2
Weekly hours: 2 Lecture hours and 1 Seminar/Discussion hours
College: Arts and Science
Department: History


Sections of this course examine how historians have understood the complex relationship between health, society, and historical change. Health is used as a vehicle for understanding political, social and cultural change throughout history. Topics range from antiquity and the birth of Galenic healing through western and non-western traditions that have guided our understandings of bodies, pain, gender, and power and into the modern era of health and medicine with the rise of professional medicine, ethics, experimentation and institutionalized healing. Health is widely defined to capture experiences that fall outside the traditional doctor-patient relationship, and to explore issues including: mental health; the politics of healthcare; health economies; the health professions; disease’s power to shape human history. These courses rely on a variety of sources: food and nutrition, to medical treatises, patient narratives, activist and anti-medical establishment texts, artwork, and institutional reports, and a rich historical tradition of examining health and medicine and its influence on human history. Possible areas of exploration include: madness; the body; pain; health and disease.

Attention:A maximum of nine credit units of 100-level HIST may be taken for credit.
Note: Students may not take this course more than once for credit, even if the specific focus is different.
Note: Multiple sections of this course may be offered in the same term, each with a different focus. Consult the CRN for each section of the class in the Class Search to find its specific focus. The History Department’s annual handbook (on the department homepage) also contains this information.

Upcoming class offerings

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