This course looks at medicine from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing on the human, as opposed to biological, side of things. Students learn how to analyze various kinds of medical practice as cultural systems. Particular emphasis is placed on Western (bio-medicine); students examine how biomedicine constructs disease, health, body, and mind, and how it articulates with other institutions, national and international.
In addition to doing all of the reading (approximately 100 pages a week, except for the Fadiman, Farmer, and Scheper-Hughes books, which are more easy to read than the articles), you will write a response to one of the readings each week. This can be a short paragraph, and informally written. It should be an actual response to the piece- your own reaction to it- not a summary or analysis. You will also write three short (5-8 pp.) papers on topics assigned during the semester. There is no midterm or final exam.
I accept no written work handed in late without having given permission prior to the date the work is due.
This course has a strong discussion component. You must come to class prepared to discuss the reading assigned for that class. Attendance is required. Do not take this course if you plan on cutting classes- you will receive a failing grade.
Grading will be based as follows: participation in class discussion: 15%; reading response write-ups (collectively): 10%; each paper: 25%. Students will present a five-minute summary of their third written assignment in class at the end of the course. These will not be graded.
The readings required for each session are found directly under the title for that day's class.
The syllabus includes each article's full bibliographic citations, to allow you to know where they originally appeared and, more importantly, when.
Plagiarism, presenting someone else's work as your own, comes in two forms, both extremely serious. The first involves using the words of a source, exactly or in very close paraphrase, without proper citation. If you are citing word-for-word, it does not suffice to footnote the source; you must use quotation marks. If you are paraphrasing someone's work, you must fully cite the work, including the exact page number of the page on which the material appears. Do not think that just because work is "in the public domain," on the Net, etc., you do not need to provide a full citation. If it's someone else's work, then it's not your work and you need to fully cite the source.
The second form of plagiarism involves taking ideas from a source without footnoting the source.
Although sanctions for plagiarism in this course depend on its severity, failing the course is a distinct possibility. I have failed students in the past, and they have also had to appear before the Committee on Discipline.
Bottom line: this course takes plagiarism very seriously. Suspicious papers immediately get sent to a computer-savvy colleague.
The readings for the course provide good examples of proper citation practice.