HS 211: The Social History of Medicine

This course focuses upon the social history of medicine from a variety of cultural, historical, political, and social perspectives. After a discussion of conceptual tools used in the study of the social history of medicine, we will conduct a survey of the Western medical tradition over the past 2500 years.  We will explore how medical beliefs reflect changing understandings of the human body. Finally, we will explore the primary features of medicine in the United States. We will pay special attention the Human Genome Project within our biomedical industrial complex. Throughout the class, we will consider different frames of medicine and how they affect healing and ideologies.

Course Objectives