This course provides a framework for thinking critically about illness, medical access, and the concept of health using humanities methodologies. Students will examine questions of structural inequities in medical outcomes and experiences based on gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, immigrant status, and language competency. The tools we will use to probe these questions are based on the principles of narrative medicine: developing techniques to analyze textual narratives, practicing narrative empathy, and listening to others’ stories. This course takes a global, interdisciplinary focus to the concept of illness and health, including linguistic, sociological, and historical approaches to medical interventions. Narratives will reflect writers’ diverse ethnicities, national origins, and epochs. Since stories can be told through means other than narrative language, art and poetry will also be explored. Assignments will include formal papers and an interview.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.