BIOL 6516: Race, Health, and Structural Inequality: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Faculty Adviser: 
Professor Lundy Braun, Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Africana Studies

Over the past two decades a major debate on the use of race and ethnicity in medicine has emerged.  At the same time, there has been increasing interest in and debate over how structural inequality and structural racism affects health.  An important dimension of this debate is the differing perspectives on the meaning of race in the published work in social sciences/humanities and biomedicine.  In this elective, we will explore the following questions: What is “race”?  What notions of race are being incorporated into medical practice, scientific research, and monitoring apparatuses? Importantly, what are the consequences of varying perspectives on race – and racism -- for knowledge and practice of medicine, specifically for understanding the causes and persistence of structural inequality in science, medicine, and healthcare? This seminar will draw on evidence from a variety of disciplines, including recent books in medical anthropology, history of medicine, Africana studies, sociology, and science to address the above questions.

For questions, please contact Professor Lundy Braun (