Download Fall 2017 Special Topics Course Description

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ANTH 390
Mental Health, Psychiatry, and Culture
(CHUA, FALL 2017)
Even as mental illness is now increasingly framed in neurological terms and as a
global health concern, anthropological and other social science perspectives suggest
that psychiatric diagnosis is deeply contingent, and that mental illness experiences
are richly variable and cultural in nature. This special topics course in medical
anthropology explores mental illness as subjective experience, social process, key
cultural symbol, and object of intervention and expert knowledge. Our questions
include: Does mental illness vary across cultural and social settings? How do
psychiatric ways of diagnosing and treating mental illness shape people’s subjective
experience of their affliction? What does this contingency mean for the movement
for global mental health? We consider these and other questions in light of the
emergent realities of contemporary life that medical anthropologists endeavor to
make sense of: expanding pharmaceutical markets, new therapeutic technologies,
humanitarian interventionism, and shifting forms of subjectivity in our globalizing
ANTH 390
Health and Medicine in the American South
(KING, FALL 2017)
The American South is experienced and imagined in a multitude of ways. Everyday
lives in the South are continuously borne out by this region's oral history, literature,
music, food, art, and material culture. Drawing from these sources, this course will
focus on how Southern bodies have experienced health and illness. We will pose the
questions: How can we understand the history and culture of a region through the
experience of health and healthcare among its people? Using the approaches of
anthropology, we will consider the individual, social, and political dimensions of
medicalized bodies in the American South starting with indigenous and slave
histories up to the current-day.