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|MHUM 004 - Death in America|
Intellectually, we know that, one day, our physical selves will disappear; so will the selves of those we love and the environment around us. Individuals, cultures, and societies alike have ingested and interpreted this knowledge with every possible expression, from fear and anxiety to peace and acceptance.
How does our contemporary culture assimilate or confront death and dying? What does our health care system tell us about how we should live our lives? What do our artists and philosophers tell us about how we should end?
Through the interdisciplinary lens of the medical humanities, this course explores the subject of death in America. Participants will explore historical, artistic, literary, sociological, and anthropological viewpoints of death and dying through a variety of media generated by scholars, artists, and everyday people. Beginning with a history of the American death certificate and moving through the "Before I Die" global art project, this course will take students through a reflective journey of what it means to die today, and in parallel, what it means to live.
Sources may include:
Donald Hall, "Without"
Thomas Lynch, "The Undertaking"
Joan Didion, "Year of Magical Thinking"
Allan Kellehear, "A Social History of Dying"
1.000 Credit hours
1.000 Lecture hours
Schedule Types: Seminar
Medical Humanities Department