English 1168 - Health and Medical Humanities: Theory and Practice
In this writing intensive course, we will look at the emerging fields of the health and medical humanities, including the health-related implications of literature, philosophy, art, ethics, history, sociology, etc. in clinical practice and medical education. Students will explore the evidence base for the use of the humanities in medicine. Topics include narrative medicine, gender and race in medicine, medical ethics, philosophy of medicine and art and medicine. Students will practice skills such as academic writing, timed writing, physicianship, public speaking, close observation, communication, and critical/analytical skills. Regular effective writing will be practiced throughout the course.
English 1111 - Islamic Medicine
In the post-classical era (500-1450CE), the medicine practiced in lands ruled by various Muslim empires was the among the most advanced in the world. Scholars and physicians preserved, arranged, and elaborated on Greek, Persian, and Indian medical texts, synthesizing them into an all-encompassing approach to health and illness that endures until today. In this seminar, we explore Islamic medicine from the sixth century to its mature formulation in the thirteenth century. By closely reading translations of primary texts and relevant secondary scholarship, we seek to answer questions like: What is “Islamic” about Islamic medicine? How did people in medieval Islamic societies understand health and illness, and what kinds of diseases did they face? How did doctors practice and who was their competition? What is the legacy of Islamic medicine for contemporary society? A sequence of five essay assignments will develop your writing skills and offer you an opportunity to reflect on this unique and historically significant approach to medicine.