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The following courses are being offered during the Fall 2024 semester. This list does not capture all of the possible courses, but rather a selection of recommended courses for students interested in health humanities at UNC.

All of the courses listed are related to the health humanities and may qualify for health humanities related degree programs. Please note that there is a limit on the number of courses that can double-count toward two or more minors/majors. Students enrolled in multiple programs should work closely with academic advising when selecting courses. 

Are you teaching or do you know about other health humanities courses? Send your recommendations and/or corrections to

ENGL 57H: First Year Seminar: Future Perfect: Science Fictions and Social Form 

Dr. Matthew Taylor | TuTh 11am-12:15pm

This class will investigate the forms and cultural functions of science fiction using films, books, and computer-based fictional spaces (Internet, video games, etc).

ENGL 146: Scifi/Fantasy/Utopia

Dr. Matthew Taylor | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

Readings in and theories of science fiction, utopian and dystopian literatures, and fantasy fiction.

ENGL 163: Introduction to Health and Humanities 

Dr. Kym Weed | MWF 1:25-2:15pm

In this introduction to Health Humanities, we will apply the critical reading and analytical practices of the humanities to a range of texts that explore material, cultural, and political aspects of human health. Topics will include narrative medicine, medical training, illness narratives, disability studies, chronic illness, patient advocacy, and graphic medicine.

ENGL 266: Science and Literature

Dr. Joseph A. Fletcher  | TuTu 9:30-10:45am – Section 001

Dr. Sarah Parijs | MWF 1:25-2:15pm – Section 002

Introductory exploration of the relation between science and literature, as well as the place and value of both in the contemporary world. Honors version available. 

ENGL 268/266H: Medicine, Literature, and Culture

Dr. Jane Thrailkill | MW 8:00-8:45am + Recitation

An introduction to key topics that focus on questions of representation at the intersections of medicine, literature, and culture. Honors version available.

ENGL 303: Scientific and Technical Communication

Dr. Ruby Pappoe | MWF 12:20-1:10pm

Advanced course focused on adapting scientific and technical content to public or non-expert audiences in oral, written, and digital forms. Assignments may include composing professional reports, developing multimedia instructions for a product, or developing an interactive exhibit.

ENGL 370: Race, Health, and Narrative 

Dr. Cynthia Current | MWF 2:30-3:20pm

This interdisciplinary course explores how issues of health, medicine, and illness are impacted by questions of race in 20th-century American literature and popular culture. Specific areas covered include pain, death, the family and society, reproduction, mental illness, aging, human subject experimentation, the doctor-patient relationship, pesticides, and bioethics. Honors version available.

ENGL 447: Memory and Literature 

Dr. Danielle Christmas | TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

This course brings together theories of collective and individual memory with questions of aesthetics and narrative while exploring global connections between memory and literature.

ENGL 473: Changing Coasts of Carolina

Dr. Bland Simpson | TuTh 2:00pm-3:15pm

A rigorous combination of field work, lab work, and colorful, original contemporary writing on the natural world will help tell the story of our many, evolving North Carolina coasts. Combining marine science and the creative literary arts, this immersive course will explore issues of change over many eras. This combination of social, cultural, and scientific observation will lead to imaginatively constructed, well-written non-fiction reportage about one of North America’s most productive, compelling, and challenging regions.

ENGL 763: Methods in Health Humanities

Dr. Kym Weed | We 9:30am-12:30pm

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar will introduce students to topics and methods in health humanities. Students will read pairings of representative critical and primary texts in health humanities and related fields. Together, we will define the scope, methods, and values that constitute the field of health humanities.

During the fall 2024 term, we will collaborate with students in the Cultures and Environments of Health graduate program at the University of Exeter in the UK.

Open to advanced undergraduate students with instructor permission.

ENGL 786: Introduction to Graduate Study

Dr. Harry Cushman | Mo 2:00-5:00pm

This course introduces students to the field of literary studies in English and comparative literature. Students will survey a range of approaches, methods, and controversies that have emerged from the field. The focus on critical and institutional histories will provide a foundation for graduate work and for developing professional objectives.

ENGL 805: Studies in Rhetoric and Composition

Dr. Jordynn Jack | Mo 10:00am-1:00pm

Focus varies by semester, but generally investigates intersections of literacy, pedagogy, and rhetorical theory. Courses range from explorations of technology and literacy, to investigations of forms of writing and pedagogy.

ENGL 864: Studies in Latina/o Latina, Literature, and Criticism

Dr. Ylce Irizarry | Th 10:00am-1:00pm

Representative work by Latina/o writers and critics in relation to major social and historical trends and critical models-border theory, biculturalism, mestizaje, tropicalization, diaspora, pan-latinidad, Afro-Latina/o disidentifications, and LatinAsia Studies.

ANTH 53H: First Year Seminar: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea 

Dr. Paul Leslie | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is central to one of the most profound revolutions in the history of thought, generating stunning insights but also some misunderstanding and tragic abuse. This seminar aims to provide a clear understanding of how natural selection works, and how it doesn’t. We will examine objections to the theory; how the environmental and health problems we face today reflect processes of natural selection in the past and now; and recent attempts to understand why we get sick, how we respond to disease, why we get old, when and why we fight or help one another, why we choose mates the way we do, and more. 

ANTH 147: Comparative Healing Systems

Dr. Michele Rivkin-Fish | TuTh 5-6:15pm + Recitation

In this course we compare a variety of healing beliefs and practices so that students may gain a better understanding of their own society, culture, and medical system.

ANTH 270: Living Medicine

Dr. Martha King | MWF 1:25-2:15pm

This course examines the social and cultural experience of medicine, the interpersonal and personal aspects of healing and being healed. It explores how medicine shapes and is shaped by those who inhabit this vital arena of human interaction: physicians, nurses, other professionals and administrators; patients; families; friends and advocates.

ANTH 280: Anthropology of War and Peace 

Dr. Jocelyn Chua | MWF 9:05-9:55am

This class explores some of the historical, biological, economic, medical, and social issues surrounding globalization and health consequences.

ANTH 405: Mental Health, Psychiatry, and Culture

Dr. Jocelyn Chua | MWF 12:20-1:10pm

This course explores mental illness as subjective experience, social process, key cultural symbol, and object of intervention and expert knowledge. Our questions include: Does mental illness vary across cultural and social settings? How do psychiatric ways of categorizing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness shape people’s subjective experience of their affliction? How is psychiatry predicated on cultural ideas about self and society? What does this contingency mean for the movement for global mental health?

ANTH 448: Health and Medicine in American South

Dr. Martha King | MWF 11:15am-12:05pm

This course examines ways we can understand the history and culture of a region through the experience of health and healthcare among its people. With an anthropological approach, this course considers the individual, social, and political dimensions of medicalized bodies in the American South from the 18th century through the current day.

ANTH 471: Biocultural Perspectives on Maternal and Child Health

Dr. Amanda Thompson | TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

This course explores maternal and child health from an evolutionary, biocultural, and global health perspective. It focuses on the physiological, ecological, and cultural factors shaping health and takes a life course perspective to examine childhood development, reproductive processes such as pregnancy, birth and lactation, and menopause and aging.

ANTH 582: Fieldwork with Social Models of Well-Being

Dr. Michele Rivkin-Fish | TuThu 2:00-3:15pm

Required preparation: at least one introductory cultural medical anthropology course.
This course highlights approaches and organizations that pursue well-being through social relations and social change, rather than through medical treatment and cure. Students will: 1) learn the conceptual understandings that inform social models of well-being in disability studies/disability rights, occupational science, and critical gerontology; and 2) learn and apply anthropological methods of participant-observation fieldwork and interviewing in local organizations that implement these social models.

ANTH 714: Current Issues on Participatory Research: A Workshop Course

Dr. Angela Stuesses | W 5:45-8:15pm

This one-hour course is open to UNC graduate students interested in Participatory Research (PR). It is required for the Graduate Certificate in PR and designed to integrate new students into the intellectual discussions and the PR community on campus.
*Note: 1 credit hour course

ANTH 850: Engaging Ethnography

Dr. Angela Stuesses | W 12:20-2:50pm

What is engaged ethnography? We often speak of engaged research, but what does it look like on the ground? How is it represented through textual narrative? And what difference does it make in the “real” world? In this seminar students “engage” these questions in an examination of ethnographies produced by politically- and community-engaged researchers, exploring how methodologies, epistemologies, and the products of research are transformed by various forms of engagement.

AAAD 58: First Year Seminar: Health Inequality in Africa and African Diaspora

Dr. Lydia Boyd | TuTh 2- 3:15PM

This first-year seminar examines the ways that healthcare access and health itself are shaped by social, racial, and economic inequalities in our society and others. The geographic focus of this course is Africa and the United States. Drawing on research in medical anthropology, sociology, public health, and history we will gain an understanding of the political, economic, and social factors that create health inequalities.

GEOG 222: Health and Medical Geography

Dr. Michael Emch | TuTh 5-6:15pm

Health and disease are studied by analyzing the cultural/environmental interactions that lie behind world patterns of disease distribution, diffusion, and treatment, and the ways these are being altered by development. Previously offered as GEOG 445. (GHA)

GEOG 240: Introduction to Environmental Justice

Dr. Danielle Purifoy | MWF 12:20-1:10pm

Environmental justice is about social equity and its relationship to the environment. This course provides an introduction to the principles, history, and scholarship of environmental justice. It traces the origins of the movement in the US and globally and its relationship to environmentalism. Students will use case studies and engagement to become familiar with environmental justice concerns related to food systems, environmental health, climate change, and economic development.

GEOG 435: Global Environmental Justice

Dr. Shorna Allred | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

This advanced course brings geographical perspectives on place, space, scale, and environmental change to the study of environmental justice. In lectures, texts, and research projects, students examine environmental concerns as they intersect with racial, economic and political differences. Topics include environmental policy processes, environmental justice movements, environmental health risks, conservation, urban environments, and the role of science in environmental politics and justice.

GEOG 543: Qualitative Methods in Geography

Dr. Danielle Purifoy | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

This course teaches qualitative methods in geography for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. We will cover interviews, focus groups, visual, and other methodologies. We will also discuss modes of analysis, coding, and writing up qualitative research for publication.

HBEH 531: Community Engagement and Assessment to Advance Health Equity and Social Justice

Dr. Alexandra Lightfoot | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

Engaging communities to identify their strengths, needs and priorities and determine action steps to address them is at the core of public health practice. Conducting a health assessment with communities is an essential public health function required in local and global contexts. This class will examine approaches to the assessment process, compare qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, and examine strategies for ensuring effective and equitable community engagement throughout the assessment process.

HPM 350: Intro to U.S. Health System I

Dr. Melanie Studer | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

HPM 350 and 352 provide an overview of the United States health system. HPM 350 examines the performance, organization, management, and financing of the U.S. health system and the resources required to provide health services.

HPM 565: Global Health Policy

Dr. Benjamin Meier | TuTh 8-9:15am

Coursework will focus on public policy approaches to global health, employing interdisciplinary methodologies to understand selected public health policies, programs, and interventions. For students who have a basic understanding of public health.

HNRS 390: Narrative and Medicine

Dr. Terrence Holt | W 2:30-5:00pm

This seminar explores the role of narrative in medicine from two sides: the patient’s experience of illness, and the caregiver’s experience of providing for the sick. As a writing workshop, this course offers students a supportive environment in which to explore their own experiences and refine their writing skills. Pandemic conditions permitting, it provides an opportunity for service work in a variety of clinical settings, in which students will have a chance to participate in medical care. (Please note that each student will be responsible for arranging to perform volunteer work at UNC Hospitals, and that these arrangements must be completed online over the summer, usually in June; deadline will be communicated to registered students as soon as course registration is set.) Taught by a clinician-writer with years of experience in medical care, professional publication, and workshop instruction, this course offers a rare opportunity to learn from a highly skilled professional engaged in the central concerns of his work.

Open to second-, third-, and fourth-year students only.

MEJO 562: Environmental and Science TV

Dr. Thomas Linden | Th 3:30-6:00pm

Students work in teams to conceive, produce, and script mini-documentaries on environmental and science topics for broadcast on North Carolina Public Television.

MEJO 569: Behavioral Science in Health Communication

Dr. Francesca Dillman Carpentier | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

In this course, students are provided with an in-depth understanding of how people make health decisions and what motivates them to act. Then, through discussions, hands-on exercises, and case studies of health campaigns, students learn how to apply behavioral science to identify, dissect, and determine the best communication solutions for some of the most important challenges facing healthcare today.

Coming soon!

PSYC 504: Health Psychology

Dr. Karen Gil | TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM – Section 001

Dr. Karen Gil | TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM – Section 002

An in-depth coverage of psychological, biological, and social factors that may be involved with health.

PUBH 705/ENVR 705: One Health: Philosophy to Practical Integration

Drs. Mamie Sackey Harris & Jill Stewart | M 5:00PM – 7:00PM – Section 001

Drs. Mamie Sackey Harris & Jill Stewart | Th 8:00-9:15AM – Section 956

This course explores the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health and facilitates the understanding of health as an inexorably linked system requiring multidisciplinary collaborative efforts. The One Health concept demonstrates the importance of a holistic approach to disease prevention and the maintenance of human, animal, and environmental health.
1 credit-hour course

PUBH 711: Critical Issues in Global Health

Dr. Marie Lina Excellent, Karar Ahsan | TuTh 3:30-5pm

Explores contemporary issues/controversies in global health through an interdisciplinary perspective; examines complexity of social, economic, political, and environmental factors affecting global health; analyzes global health disparities through a social justice lens; and exposes students to opportunities in global health work and research.

PUBH 712: Global Health Ethics

Dr. Adam Gilertson | Remote Only

This course will introduce students to the theoretical and practical aspects of public health ethics. Develop student’s analytical skills to evaluate ethical issues related to public health policy, prevention, treatment, and research. Topics include: ethical reasoning; concepts of justice; principles of interacting with communities; professional conduct and research. Online course.

RELI 617: Death and Afterlife in the Ancient World

Dr. Zlatko Plese | TuTh 2-3:15pm

Examinations of practices and discourses pertaining to death and the afterlife in the ancient civilizations of Near East, Greece, and Rome

SOCI 422: Sociology of Mental Health and Illness

Katrina Branecky | MWF 1:25-2:15pm – Section 001

Johannah Palomo | MWF 9:05-9:55am – Section 002

TBA | MWF 12:20-1:10pm – Section 003

Examines the uniqueness of the sociological perspective in understanding mental health and illness. Draws upon various theoretical perspectives to best understand patterns, trends, and definitions of mental health and illness in social context. Focuses on how social factors influence definitions, perceptions, patterns, and trends of mental health and illness.

SOCI 469: Health and Society

Micah Nelson | MWF 1:25-2:15pm – Section 001

Grace Franklyn | MWF 10:10-11:00am – Section 002

Micah Nelson | MWF 12:20-1:10pm – Section 003

The primary objective of the course is to explain how and why particular social arrangements affect the types and distribution of diseases, as well as the types of health promotion and disease prevention practices that societies promote.

Coming soon!