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Courses for Spring 2017

Medical History and Bioethics 133:
Biology & Society, 1950-Today

Instructor: Nicole C. Nelson

From medical advancements to environmental crises and global food shortages, the life sciences are implicated in some of the most pressing social issues of our time. This course explores events in the history of biology from the mid-twentieth century to today, and examines how developments in this science have shaped and are shaped by society. In the first unit, we investigate the origins of the institutions, technologies, and styles of practice that characterize contemporary biology, such as the use of mice as “model organisms” for understanding human diseases. The second unit examines biological controversies such as the introduction of genetically modified plants into the food supply. The final unit asks how biological facts and theories have been and continue to be used as a source for understanding ourselves.

Cross-listed with History of Science

3 cr.; Z (either Humanities or Social Science), E (Elementary)

Monday/Wednesday 11:00 am

Prerequisites: None, Open to Freshmen.


Medical History and Bioethics 213:
Global Environmental Health: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

Instructor: Emer Lucey

The course provides an introduction to the intersections of health and environment on a global scale. Exposes students to a range of problems in global environmental health, including climate change, disease ecology, and the globalization of disease.

Cross-listed with Environmental Studies

3 cr.; Z (Humanities or Social Science), E (Elementary)

Tuesday/Thursday 1:00 - 2:15 pm

Prerequisites: None


Medical History and Bioethics 286:
Studies in Medical History:
The Culture of Disease: A History

Instructor: Judith A. Houck

What is disease? Who decides? What are the consequences of labeling a behavior a disease? Can disease be a tool of liberation? Can disease be an instrument of oppression? How do race, class, and gender affect our understandings of and experiences with illness? How have diseases shaped American history? This course is designed to illustrate the various ways disease operates in America. We will examine the role of disease on at least four levels - political, social, cultural, and personal - to demonstrate that diseases are not merely bodily afflictions; they are also participants in the body politic. At first glance, this course outline might look like one disease after another, and on some level it is. However, the diseases are chosen to illustrate a different point about the social and cultural lives of disease in the history of the United States. Although the course moves forward chronologically, it is not meant as a narrative history of disease.

Not cross-listed

3 cr.; H Humanities, E (Elementary)

Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 - 10:15 am


Medical History and Bioethics 394:
Science in America

Instructor: Scott Prinster

Why is the United States a scientific nation? Why do Americans place so much faith in scientific explanations, especially when many of us lack even basic knowledge of the sciences? We will trace the development of scientific knowledge and institutions in the United States from the colonial period to the present, viewing science, technology, and medicine as social and cultural expressions as well as knowledge about nature. We will cover the migration of European science, its development in colonial America, the formation of a national scientific community, the emergence of Big Science, and the tensions between the sciences and other value systems. We will also give special attention to the complex relationships of science with religion, race and ethnicity, gender, and economics. No special background in the sciences is expected for enrollment.

Cross-listed with History of Science and History

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

Tuesday/Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or consent of instructor.


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

Instructor: Karen Walloch

Who is responsible for health? When and why does an individual’s health or personal behavior become a matter for public concern? What can communities do to ensure the health and welfare of their members, that is, the public’s health? How do we reconcile individual liberty with the state’s interest in preserving or enhancing public health? Questions of public responsibility for health remain central in policy debates today, and an understanding of how we got here might help us untangle some of this rhetoric.

This course surveys the history of public health in the United States from the colonial period to the present. We will look at how cities, states, voluntary groups, and the federal government have organized to protect and promote health. From the earliest responses to control epidemics to our current debates, politics, commerce, and cultural attitudes about race, class, and gender have shaped public health initiatives throughout American history.

Cross-listed with History of Science

3 credits, B (Biological Science), I (Intermediate)

Monday/Wednesday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Prerequisites: Junior standing or Instructor consent. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests. Graduate students must also register for 709 concurrently with 509.


Medical History and Bioethics 523:
Race, American Medicine and Public Health

Instructor: Susan E. Lederer

The problem of the 20th century, wrote W.E.B. DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), "is the problem of the color-line." This course considers the issue of the color line in American medicine over the past two centuries. We will be looking at the ways in which skin color (and other elements of "racial identity") have influenced the experiences of patients, physicians and nurses, and medical researchers, seeking to document and analyze how conceptions of race have shaped the health concerns and health outcomes of Americans in the past two hundred years. Topics include the origins of racial classification, the health and medical care of slaves, the use of minorities as research subjects, especially the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the history of racial disparities in medicine, and the efforts to integrate the American medical profession.

Cross-listed with History of Science and Afro-American Studies

3 cr.; S (Social Science), D (Intermediate or Advanced)

Tuesday/Thursday 1:00 - 2:15 pm

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests.


Medical History and Bioethics 558:
Ethical Issues in Health Care

Instructor: Robert K Streiffer

Study of ethical issues arising from medical procedures and aspects of health care such as genetic screening, paternalism, informed consent, prenatal diagnosis, prolongation of life, treatment of severe birth defects, and human subject research.

Cross-listed with Philosophy

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

Tuesday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, plus discussions

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or Higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests.


Medical History and Bioethics 565:
The Ethics of Modern Biotechnology

Instructor: Robert K. Streiffer

Study of ethical issues arising from the application of modern biotechnology to microorganisms, crops, animals, and humans. Readings cover applied ethics, moral theory, political philosophy, the science used in biotechnology, and current regulations governing its use.

Cross-listed with Agronomy, Philosophy, and Community and Environmental Sociology

3 credits; Humanities. Counts for Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S. I Intermediate.

Monday/Wednesday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Prerequisites: Must have Junior standing or Higher. Includes graduate and professional careers. Excludes university specials and guests.


Medical History and Bioethics 610:
Regenerative Medicine, Ethics and Society

Instructor: Linda F. Hogle

This course is designed to introduce graduate and upper-level undergraduate science, engineering, and medical students working in regenerative medicine research to the key ethical, policy and social issues relevant to the field. Primary scientific and policy documents will be used as resources as well as analyses of current social and political environments.

Topics include (among others): The history of legal & political disputes over embryonic stem cell research; understanding public responses & the media; responsible conduct of science for stem cell researchers ; treatments outside of clinical trials; social & ethical issues in translational research & commercialization.

NOTE: THIS COURSE IS TAUGHT AS A CONCENTRATED, SHORT COURSE (8 sessions). Counts for ethics credit for a number of graduate science programs (check first with your advisor).

Not cross-listed

Variable Credit Course 1-3 credits. Must have instructor consent to enroll for more than one credit.

Monday 4:00 - 6:00 pm; 8 sessions;
January 23 - March 5, 2017

Prerequisites: Graduate or Professional and consent of instructor.


Medical History and Bioethics 699:
Independent Study in Medical History

Instructor: Staff

Not cross-listed

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

Time to be arranged

Prerequisites: Jr st & cons inst.


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

Instructor: Staff

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.

Time to be arranged

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


Medical History and Bioethics 730:
Ethical Issues in Medicine

Instructor: J. Paul Kelleher

This course focuses on important ethics controversies arising in the health sciences. It consists of nine lecture/discussions focused on a different topic each week. The course challenges students to view ethical issues from multiple perspectives and encourages interpersonal and interdisciplinary discourse. Topics can include: health care rationing, genetic screening, genetic engineering, organ donation and procurement, paternalism in public health, public health priority-setting, tensions and affinities between different ethical methodologies, and the distinctive tasks facing hospital ethics committees. The course is open to students pursuing a health science degree (e.g. medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistants); others may enroll only with consent of the instructor.

Not cross-listed

1 cr.; Graduate, advanced

Tuesday 5:30 - 7:00 pm (meets Jan-Apr)

Prerequisites: Limited to medical students or consent of instructor.


Medical History and Bioethics 999:
Advanced Independent Study

Instructor: Staff

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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