Anthropology 302                                     
Dr. Judkins
Fall 2013

Medical Anthropology

This upper-level introduction to Medical Anthropology, emphasizes anthropological perspectives on health and wellness, sickness and healing.  The concepts and perspectives of Culture, Ethnography, and Ethnomedicine are fundamental to our approach and are essential throughout the course.  Understanding possible and appropriate roles for culturally knowledgeable, anthropologically trained professionals in the health and medical sphere is one of the primary goals of this course.  Anthropology 302 is especially designed for students planning a Masters degree in Public Health or a career in medicine or nursing upon completion of undergraduate studies.  For such students, personal research and/or research with faculty members, focused Directed Studies, study abroad, internships, volunteering or other experience in medical capacities, attendance at professional meetings, presentation of papers or posters - along with appropriate linguistic skills - are all highly recommended.  The readings in this course are designed to help start such students on their own personal courses of career preparation.  In so far as possible, the class will be run on a graduate or seminar course basis, with commensurate expectations of the members of the class.

Office Hours
T/Th 11:30-1:00
Sturges 15
Office phone: x5433; Departmental phone: 245-5277

Midterm and Final Exam (essay format): each = 25% of final grade (total 50%)
Two class presentation/short paper assignments (3-4 pgs ea): each = 25% of final (total 50%)
Presence/attendance and regular/engaged classroom contributions will count as well (up to a half a grade, up or down, from the basic grade totals).

Anne Fadiman. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American
    Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. (National Book Critics Circle Award).
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1997/2012
Gerald Hausman (ed.). All is Beautiful All Around Me: Navajo Ways and Ceremonial Stories.
    (Forward by Tony Hillerman). Irie Books. 2011
Stephen J. Kunitz. Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience.
    University of California Press. 1983
Richard Preston. The Demon in the Freezer. Random House. 2002
Victor W. Turner. The Forest of Symbols. Cornell University Press. 1967
Topic & Concept Introductions                                Aug 27
    Health & Wellness
    Healing & Healers: training, status (Levi-Strauss / de Angulo
    Magic, Sorcery & Witchcraft
    Divination & diagnosis
    Pregnancy & childbirth
    Acute vs. Chronic conditions

Classroom Presentation (student) Assignments, for presentation later in semester:        Aug 29

    (1) Culture Bound Syndromes
         DSM IV-TR list: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
        “Culture Specific Diseases” at:
        - What is cultural what is medical?  Interests, agendas, implications (Rx): Power
    (2) Infectious/Epidemic Diseases: past, present and future; focus on role of Med Anthro

Traditional Medicine: Africa (Ndembu, Central Africa)        

    VW Turner: “Muchona the Hornet” (Chapt 6, Forest of Symbols)            Sept 3
    VW Turner: “Symbols in Ndembu Ritual” (Chapt 1, Forest of Symbols)         Sept 5
        - fundamental concepts and holistic contextualization of ritual healing
          in a tribal society (i.e., roles of Culture and Society in traditional medicine)
        - the role(s) of medical practitioner in a complex tribal society
    Eleanor Smith Bowen [Laura Bohannan], excerpts from Return to Laughter:         Sept 10
West African case study of a “failure” of traditional medicine in a tribal society; medical/social anthropological contextualization of this case study (Handout);
        Plus video excerpts from “The Nuer:” smallpox and traditional medical treatment
    VW Turner: “Lunda Medicine and the Treatment of Disease” (Chapt 9, Forest      Sept 12
        of Symbols) - encyclopedic review of mid-20th century Central African
        traditional medicine, its knowledge and practice, plus its contexts
            - class presentation assignments (due to size and complexity of article)
    VW Turner: “A Ndembu Doctor in Practice” (Chapt 10, Forest of Symbols)          Sept 17
            - class presentation assignments (due to size and complexity of article)
    WH McNeill: “Man the Hunter” Plagues and Peoples, Chapt 1 (Handout)               Sept 19
        - Evolutionary and environmental perspectives on health & disease
            in Africa (tropical vs. temperate zones)

Traditional Medicine: Arctic Shamanism (Eskimo/Inuit; Chuckee, North America, NE Asia)

    Knud Rasmussen: Iglulik Inupiaq (Canada; Arctic Coast; Inuit)                Sept 24
        - Lecture source: Knud Rasmussen, Intellectual culture of the Iglulik Eskimos,  
            Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition, 1921-24
    Waldemar Borgoras: Siberian shamanism                             Sept 26
        Lecture source: Borgoras, The Chukchee, vol VII, The Jesup North
            Pacific Expedition,  Franz Boas, ed.  1904-1909

Traditional Medicine: Southeast Asia (Hmong/Miao: China, Laos, Thailand, Vietman   
    and as diaspora refugee populations, throughout the Western world)

    - Cultural and ethnographic identity; health and medical culture; shamanisn         Oct 1
    - Film series: Hmong health dilemmas in Western, diaspora settings             Oct 3
    - Discussion: Anne Fadiman (Preface thru Chapt 11)                     Oct 8
    - Discussion: Anne Fadiman (Chapt 12- Afterword)                         Oct 10

MIDTERM EXAM    October 17

Contemporary Navajo Medicine: Tradition and Modernity
    Texts: SJ Kunitz, Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: the Navajo Experience
        Gerald Hausman, All is Beautiful Around Me
    Video: “Seasons of the Navajo” (Ceremony of Kinaalda)
    - Student Presentations: Culture Bound Syndromes                     Oct 22-31
    - Video screening + Navajo text discussion + traditional ceremonies +         Nov 5-14
        Navajo vs. non-Navajo neighbors: 1918 Flu Pandemic outcomes

Contemporary Iroquois: Health and Disease; Healing and Wellness
    Herbalism; medicine societies; “dreams and wishes of the soul...”                    Nov 19
    Seneca-Iroquois diabetes: diet and traditional/modern cultural factors         Nov 21

Contemporary Disease & Healing: a Modern Chinese Case-Study: Qigong              Nov 26

Infectious and Communicable Diseases Past, Present & Future: Role of Medical Anthropology

    Text: Richard Preston, The Demon in the Freezer [smallpox and anthrax]
    Student Presentations: Infectious and Communicable Diseases, with         Dec 3, 5
        focus on roles for medical anthropologists

FINAL EXAM    Wednesday, Dec. 11: 3:30-6:30