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Georgetown University


Class Schedule Listing


Spring 2021
Jan 20, 2022
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Sections Found
Intro to Medical Humanities - 41482 - MHUM 101 - 01
The metaphor of solving mystery is frequently used to understand and teach medicine. Throughout history, doctors and detectives have overlapped, from Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle (a physician) who created the famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes to Berton Roueché’s Medical Detectives column in The New Yorker to Dr. Gregory House (TV show: House MD), based on Lisa Sanders’ “Diagnosis” column in The New York Times. This connection points to a broader intersection. Medicine and mystery literature share a vocabulary of observation, fact-finding, evidence, and diagnostic reasoning. At the same time, both are reliant on narrative to construct personal, scientific, social, and cultural meaning. The mysterious and sometimes mystical depiction of human health, suffering, and death across narrative and media is entangled with physical, emotional, and psychical identity, and is directly related to forms of power. Who is the detective and who or what the detected? Who is the explorer and who becomes an object of investigation? Through the theme of medicine & mystery, this course will introduce students to the field of medical humanities. We will examine the history of medicine, cultural responses and concepts of disease vs illness, narrative medicine, health disparities, philosophical and religious/spiritual approaches, and the role of science and technology upon healthcare practices. As we investigate the connections between medicine and mystery, we will ask how such narratives have shaped and are shaped by the social and cultural context of medicine. Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, students will be able to: • Give an overview of the field of medical humanities and understand some of its methodological approaches including literary analysis, historiography, and philosophy • Apply concepts, methods, and subject materials from core humanities disciplines to current problems and issues in healthcare • Explore and evaluate the clinical and social connections between mystery and medicine and to understand the role such narratives perform for patients, family members, physicians, writers, artists, historians, academics, legal scholars, and policy makers • Cultivate reflective capacity and powers of written and oral expression and argument and develop skills in critical analysis and close reading. • Engage with difference and diversity by thinking across cultures • Develop communication, presentation, critical writing, grant-writing, and peer collaboration skills, and share findings with a wider audience • Activate abstract knowledge through creative and project-based assignments Develop critical thinking skills and generative habits of the mind to respond to a world in flux: openness, curiosity, creativity, resilience, ethical engagement, and imagination
Associated Term: Spring 2021
Registration Dates: Nov 16, 2020 to Feb 05, 2021
Levels: Undergraduate
Attributes: Core: Diversity/Domestic, Core:HALC - Hum, Art, Lit, Cul, Medical Humanities, X-List: ENGL

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Lecture Schedule Type
3.000 Credits
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Scheduled Meeting Times
Type Time Days Where Date Range Schedule Type Instructors
Lecture 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm T TBA Jan 25, 2021 - May 19, 2021 Lecture Lakshmi Krishnan E-mail

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