Early operating theater

Courses for Fall 2008

Medical History and Bioethics 275:
Science, Medicine and Race: A History

Instructors: Judith Houck and Richard Keller

This course surveys the medical and scientific constructions of ideas about race and ethnicity since the eighteenth century. We will place the development of racial theories of sickness and health in a broad social and political context - and, in particular, explain the medical salience of race in the setting of slavery and colonialism. Discussions will focus primarily on North America and Europe, but will also explore the making of knowledge about race in global settings.

Crosslisted with History of Science and with Afro-American Studies

3 cr.; Z (Humanities or Social Science),C (L&S), E (Elementary);

2:30 - 3:45 TR; Discussion W or F 8:50 or 9:55

Open to Freshmen.


Medical History and Bioethics 504:
Society and Health Care in American History

Instructor: Ronald Numbers

Health care in America since the colonial period; emphasis on social developments.

Crosslisted with History and History of Science

3 cr.; B (Biological Science), I (Intermediate)

11:00 - 12:15 TR

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.


Medical History and Bioethics 507:
Health, Disease and Healing I

Instructor: Walton Schalick

This course presents an in-depth survey of medicine and public health from its roots in Antiquity through approximately 1500. There are three principal themes. The first focuses on the evolving concepts of illness, beginning with the ideas of the Hippocratics, who lived during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. We will study how their ideas were taken up and transformed by later scholars, with particular emphasis being paid to medicine in medieval Islam and the reception of medical knowledge in western Europe after 500 A.D. through its transformation in the newfangled universities. We will also pay close attention to the teaching and practice of anatomy in those universities. The second theme studies the medical practitioners of this era, focusing primarily on physicians but also paying significant attention to surgeons, apothecaries, female healers and the various other health-providers who together comprised the practice of healing in the ancient and medieval worlds. Within that theme, the notion of the medieval medical marketplace will be an important one. The third theme centers on the evolution of health as a social and political problem. It includes the emergence of hospitals in Constantinople and Baghdad, two large medieval cities where caring for the sick poor became a matter of pressing concern and the evolution of public health through the period of the Black Death in the later fourteenth century and beyond.

Each week there will be one 75-minute lecture on Monday to introduce the weeks subject, followed by a 75- minute seminar/lecture on Wednesday to flesh out the readings in depth. Depending on the complexity of the material, readings for the seminar meeting will be about 100 pages per week. Readings depend primarily on a packet of readings, but we will also have recourse to two textbooks: Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine by Nancy Siraisi, and Carole Rawcliffe's Sources for the History of Medicine in Late Medieval England.

Written work will consist of 3 take-home essay assignments, each of 5-6 pages in length.

Crosslisted with History of Science and with History

3 cr., H (Humanities), I (Intermediate)

2:30-3:45 MW

Prerequisites: Junior standing.


Medical History and Bioethics 509:
The Development of Public Health in America

Instructor: Judith Leavitt

This course surveys the history of public health in the United States from the colonial period to the late twentieth century, emphasizing many issues in the development of public responsibility for health that are relevant at the beginning of the 21st century. The course is run as a seminar/discussion, and the student requirements include regular and constructive class participation.

The course materials include many “primary” documents, writings from the period under discussion, so that students can come to appreciate and understand (but not necessarily to agree with) various historical points of view, with the ultimate goal of toleration of ambiguity and contradiction. The past was just as complex and interesting as the present, and in this course we aim to become familiar with some of the complexity of human experiences and work with the historical record on its own terms, even as we also seek to understand what we can learn from the past to help us to understand and explain the present. We sit today at the beginning of the twenty-first century, reading history to enrich ourselves culturally; at the same time we can use our knowledge to make our world in this new century a little bit better.

The seminar-discussion approach grows directly out of an appreciation of the benefits of active learning, in which the professor is a facilitator of learning rather than a dispenser of information and students actively pursue their education rather than passively receive knowledge. The general goals of a university education focus on critical thinking, being willing to explore ideas contrary to one’s own beliefs, knowing when information or data are relevant to an issue and how to seek and find that information and apply it methodologically to the problem at hand. Class time will be a time to present new material, but even more, it will be used to provide experiences in learning what to do with new material and to clear up problems so that students can take responsibility for learning and solving problems rather than waiting for them to be solved by the instructor. Cooperative and group learning and exercises will be encouraged, with the assumption that everyone brings something valuable and unique to the class. Active discussion, expressing one’s ideas and getting reactions from other students and the teacher, has been demonstrated to make a big difference in learning, retention, and use of knowledge. Verbalizing an idea can be one way of getting checks and extensions of it. Thus students will be required to talk about their ideas openly, listen and respond to others’ ideas, remain sensitive to the feelings of other class members, and take responsibility for moving class discussions forward.

Crosslisted with History of Science

3 cr.; B (Biological Science), I (Intermediate)

1:00-2:15 TR

Prerequisites: Junior standing and consent of instructor. Graduate students registered in 509 must register concurrently in MHB 709.


Medical History and Bioethics 513:
Environment and Health in Global Perspective

Instructor: Gregg Mitman

Explores the historical relationships between environmental change and human health from the 17th through the 20th century. Topics include colonialism and disease, medical geography, urban pollution and reform, workplace hazards, environmental risk, and the anti-toxics and environmental justice movements.

Crosslisted with History of Science and with Environmental studies

3 cr.; Z (Humanities or Social Science), A (Advanced)

9:30 - 10:45 TR

Prerequisites: Junior standing. Graduate students registered in 513 must register concurrently in MHB 713.


Medical History and Bioethics 545:
Ethical and Regulatory Issues in Clinical Investigation

Instructor: Norman C. Fost

This course will explore and examine the ethical issues central to clinical research, regulations governing clinical investigation, and the role of good clinical practice for clinical trials. Participants who master this course material will be able to think critically about the ethical issues central to clinical research and know the basic elements of the federal regulations affecting clinical investigation.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.; C (Counts for LAS credit, L&S), A (Advanced)

3:30-5:30 R, 1220 HSLC.


Medical History and Bioethics 559:
Stem Cells, Cloning & Synthetic Biology

Instructor: Linda Hogle

This course concerns cultural and ethical issues related to stem cells and related technologies. Topics include: history of the embryo (moral status, representations, legal protections); state, federal & international policies and regulations; cell & tissue donation issues; the public arena (controversies, religious and political debates, cultural concerns, the media), clinical and patient care issues, and popular culture (film, fiction, biographies). Open to all undergraduates (no advanced science required).

NOTE: This course differs from MHB 610 Regenerative Medicine and Society, which will be taught in Spring 2009. This course is more in-depth regarding research ethics, regulatory issues, international collaborations, and clinical trials among other topics and is appropriate for scientists, engineers, advanced social scientists, and public health and medical students with research or practice issues in stem cell, tissue engineering and other regenerative medicine techniques.

Not cross-listed

3 cr.; H (Humanities), D (Intermediate or Advanced)

4:00-6:30 M

Prerequisite: Cons inst.


Medical History and Bioethics 668:
Fat and Thin: Making American Bodies

Instructor: Susan Lederer

This course surveys the search for the healthy body in American society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include the changing American food supply and the rise of “fast foods,” dietary regimens and dieting, medicine and nutrition science, bariatric surgery (i.e. stomach stapling), and efforts to create “magic bullets” for weight loss. Course format is lecture/discussion and requires active and engaged student participation.

Not cross-listed

3 cr.; C (L&S), A (Advanced)

9:55-10:45 MWF

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Junior standing.


Medical History and Bioethics 699:
Independent Study in Medical History

Instructor: Staff

To be arranged with instructor.

Not cross-listed

1-3 cr.; C (counts for L&S), A (Advanced)

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Jr st and cons instr


Medical History and Bioethics 709:
Development of Public Health in America

Instructor: Judith Leavitt

Advanced readings in primary and secondary literature concerning public health issues and problems in America from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and efforts made toward their solutions.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.; Graduate, Advanced

Time TBA

Prerequisites: Grad st & con reg in Med Hist 509.


Medical History and Bioethics 713:
Environment and Health in Global Perspective

Instructor: Gregg Mitman

Advanced readings that examine major problems in environment and health. See description under MHB 513.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.; Graduate basic

Time TBA

Prerequisites: Grad st and concurrent registration in Med Hist 513.


Medical History and Bioethics 890:
Reading and Research

Instructor: Staff

To be arranged with instructor.

Not cross-listed

1-3 cr. A (Advanced)

Time to be arranged

Prereq: Open to all 4th yr Med stdts (8 or 16 wks) & Grad stdts of all other depts (16 wks)


Medical History and Bioethics 999:
Advanced Independent Study

Instructor: Staff

To be arranged with instructor.

Not cross-listed

1-3 cr.; A (Advanced)

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Grad stdts who have the Masters or equiv, or Postdoc fellows who wish to undertake an independent research project.

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