ANTH 301 Culture and Medicine: Healers and Healing Practices

Every culture and society has had to deal with illness and thus has well-developed concepts about the healing process, healers, medical knowledge, and healing practices. Offers a cross-cultural exploration of healers and healing approaches. Examines differences and similarities in the ways that people approach illness and healing by relying heavily on an abundance of examples from various cultures, including that of the United States. Examines illness causation and classification theories, diagnostic practices, therapeutic procedures, preventive care, the assumptions that underlie these concepts and practices, and their relationship to the social, cultural, and technological environments in which they are constructed. Focuses on the role of the healer in the context of culture and examines physicians, shamans, witch doctors, curandero/as, midwives, wise men and women, and other healers. Explores the use of music, botanicals, healing aids, and pharmaceuticals in the healing process. Informed self-reflection and critical analysis of one's own world view assumptions and medical belief system are fundamental objectives of the course.

Course Syllabus