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Courses for Fall 2010

HMAN 1305                                            

Medical Humanities:  Critical Perspectives on Illness, Healing and Culture
Bianca Dahl, Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities

Medicine is arguably the most humanistic of the hard sciences, one that strives to ensure the basic dignity of individuals. In our increasingly globalized world, access to medical care is recognized as a fundamental human right. However, there continues to be considerable debate over the "best" ways to provide medical services to economically and culturally diverse communities across the globe, given the complex ways that people prioritize and perpetuate their health. Drawing on a range of disciplines, this seminar explores the multifaceted relationships between biomedicine and cultural understandings of illness, both in the US and worldwide. Instructor permission required.


HMAN 1970S                                          

Ethics and the Humanities
Sheila Bonde, Faculty Fellow

This seminar will engage with ethical issues in a broad range of humanities disciplines.  We will survey historical and thematic perspectives on ethics and will consider the ethical implications of authorship and possession of texts and objects; translation as an ethical problem; data and open access; the perspective of the human subject; public humanities, public intellectuals and community-based research; and ethical issues in popular culture.


HMAN 1970T                                             

Medicine and Colonialism in the Atlantic World: A View from the South
Adrián López Denis, Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities

This seminar examines the role of disease, medicine, and health in the history of the Atlantic World. Our analysis will be centered on events that took place in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa, during the era of European colonial expansion (1490-1940). In these four and a half centuries, the West became the dominant force in global geopolitics and Western medicine emerged as the hegemonic form of healing worldwide. This seminar explores the complex relationship between these two historical developments.


HMAN 2970B                                                     

And What About the Human?
Barrymore A. Bogues

This course will think about the question posed by radical anti-colonial thought: and what about the Human? Through the writings of Foucault, Arendt, Heidegger, Fanon, Wynter and Cesaire, as well as the novels of Lamming and Vera, we will examine the meaning of the “death of Man” in contemporary critical thought and theory, and the ways in which western anti-humanism thought claims to replace the figure of the human with discourse and language, while also contrasting the ways in which radical anti-colonial thought has constructed the figure of the human.


Spring 2011

HMAN 1970V                                           

Pragmatic Medical Humanities
Jay Baruch, MD, Faculty Fellow

The question, “What is medical humanities?” has flummoxed the very experts who ardently argue for its importance to medical education and the professional and personal growth of health care providers. Individual persons harbor different meanings for the term, invest it with different values and goals.

The interdisciplinary nature of medical humanities, engaging in conversations with persons who possess different expertise, different knowledge and different approaches to knowing, provides opportunities for examination and insight unavailable elsewhere.

During this seminar, students will investigate alternative meanings, interpretations and purposes embedded in the term “medical humanities.” They will develop their own personal relationship to this term, this field of study, and its utility as a tool for understanding and responding to the profound experiences of clinical medicine, illness and health.


HMAN 2970C                                           

Concepts of Space and Time in Media Discourse
Gertrud Koch, Visiting Faculty in the Humanities

This course aims to bind different discourses about space and time from different disciplines together, including philosophy, art theory and cinema studies. It centers on questions of how space and time are conceptually, socially and aesthetically constructed via and thru different media. In Benjamin for example the urban mass functions as medium through which the city develops into a specific public space and film functions as medium through which the mass constitutes itself. Technical and aesthetic media are involved in modern subject formations both on an individual and on a social level.

Perspectival constructions of space were always in the center of analysis when it came to cultural representations of the subject. The main focus of the course will be in reconstructing the discourses on perspectivism (Nietzsche), pictorial perspective (Renaissance perspective) and cinematic appropriations of both. The other organization of perspectives is the temporal one. Past, present, future are at stake for the organization of narratives – both in terms of historical and fictional regards. During the course we will look on concepts of narrative and temporal perspectives in the context of general theories of times as well as in the context of specific media as photography and film.


To see the humanities related course catalog for 2010-11, click here. These are courses taught by Cogut Center Fellows for other departments.

To see the HMAN courses we offered in 2009-10, click here.