Skip to main content

The following courses are being offered during the Spring 2022 semester.

All of the courses listed are related to the health humanities and may qualify for health humanities related degree programs.

English & Comparative Literature

ENGL 071H: Healers and Patients
Kym Weed | MWF 10:10-11:00am

When medical anthropologist Arthur Kleinman writes that “illness has meaning,” he reminds us that the human experience of being sick involves more than bodily symptoms. Moreover, the effects of illness and disability are rarely confined to one person. In this course, we will analyze a diverse collection of writers who have taken as their topic the human struggle to make sense of suffering and debility through a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, graphic memoir, podcasts, and oral histories.

Divided into five units, the course will allow us to explore not just the medical, but also the personal, ethical, cultural, and political facets of illness from the perspectives of patients, healers, and families. Central texts will include Ask Me About My Uterus by Abby Norman, Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy, Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies and The Farewell directed by Lulu Wang. Additionally, students will utilize the growing archive of oral histories from the Stories to Save Lives project to learn more about the experiences of patients, healers, and families from across North Carolina.

*Note: Counts toward MLC minor. May substitute for the ENGL 268H gateway course requirement for the MLC minor.

ENGL 268(H): Medicine, Literature, and Culture
Matthew Taylor | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm + Recitation

How is solving a crime like diagnosing an illness? Why do descriptions of diseases follow narrative patterns? What’s behind the rhetoric of “battling” disease, and why are social problems often characterized as “ills,” “plagues,” and “cancers”? How have notions of “health” and “normality” resulted in such things as forced sterilization and genocide? What are the cultural meanings associated with “life” and “death”? What do the stories we create—about disability and disease, about who (and what) has the power to heal, about the fear of death and desire for transcendence—tell us about our culture, our history, and the experience of being human?

This course will provide an introduction to Health Humanities, a new area of study that combines methods and topics from literary studies, medicine, cultural studies, and anthropology. We’ll read novels, screen films and television episodes, learn about illnesses and treatments, and hear expert speakers as we investigate the close affinities among literary representation, medical science, and clinical practice. We’ll also play close attention to how ideas about sickness and health have changed over time and across cultures. Topics will include the doctor-patient relationship, medical detection, the rise of psychiatry, illness and social exclusion, pandemics and the “outbreak narrative,” government eugenics programs, the quest for immortality, and end-of-life care.

*Note: Counts toward MLC minor and SML concentration. Gateway course requirement for the MLC minor.

ENGL 590S-2-01: 18th Century: Invention of Health (Duke)
Charlotte Sussman | T 12:00-2:30pm

Eighteenth-century Britain witnessed the invention of the concept of health as both an individual responsibility and a population-wide concern. Some important texts from the period explore the individual experience of madness, trauma, and disability, while others consider the ethics of quarantine, vaccinations, and state-generated health statistics. We will pay particular attention to situations in which a concern, or even demand, for physical health coexists with conditions of un-freedom, such as the naval ship, the slave ship, the plantation, and, in some instances, the bourgeois home. We will also follow the deployment of ideas of health in British colonial encounters with indigenous people in the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. At least one assignment will be done in conjunction with Duke Library’s large History of Medicine collection. The course will explore the intersection of eighteenth-century texts and recent theoretical developments in the health humanities, including disability studies, the problem of cure, and the ideology of health itself.

Possible primary texts include: James Cook, Journals; Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year; Earle, Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack; Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince; Richardson, Clarissa; and Wollstonecraft, Maria: or, the Wrongs of Woman.

No previous knowledge of either eighteenth-century literature or health humanities is required. Course is open to advanced undergraduates.

ENGL 611: Narrative, Literature, ad Medicine: Advanced Interdisciplinary Seminar
Kym Weed | W 12:20-3:20pm

In his foundational study of illness narratives, sociologist Arthur Frank asserts that “whether ill people want to tell stories or not, illness calls for stories.” This seminar for advanced undergraduate and graduate students investigates life writing about medicine, health, illness, and disability by health-seekers and health practitioners who operate both within and outside of modern biomedicine. We will focus on narratives—true stories—about illness or disability that include forms like memoir, autobiography, biography, creative nonfiction, graphic narrative, blogs, podcasts, and performance art. Drawing on critical approaches to these texts from health humanities, narrative medicine, literature and medicine, and disability studies, we will explore how narratives of illness and disability contribute to medical knowledge and our understandings of what it means to be human.

*Note: Counts toward the new graduate certificate in LMC as well as the BA/MA and MA programs, SML concentration, and MLC minor.

ENGL 695: Health Humanities: Intensive Research Practice
Jordynn Jack | R 12:30-3:30pm

This course focuses on research methods in the Health Humanities that can be used to develop interdisciplinary team projects. Focusing on the topics of place and mental health, we will practice ethnographic, qualitative interviews, archival research and rhetorical analysis. We will consider ethical implications of these research methods for health research involving humans (both alive and historical). In particular, we will participate as ethnographic observers in an Interprofessional Education (IPE) program, conduct short interviews for a pilot study, and conduct archival research and prepare digital exhibits that will contribute to a public history project about hospitals, healing environments, and other sites of health and healing in North Carolina. Course assessment will be based on completing four assignments meant to help students practice the research methods we discuss, as well as low-stakes process work (a journal featuring notes, reflections, plans, and discussion questions).

*Note: Counts toward the new graduate certificate in LMC as well as the BA/MA and MA programs, and SML concentration.

ENGL 844: Mind, Body, and Spirit in Nineteenth-Century US Literature
Eliza Richards | W 5:00-8:00pm

This course places poetry and fiction at the center of an inquiry into the shifting, inextricable, and intersubjective relationships of mind, body, and spirit in the nineteenth century, a time when Psyche transformed from a spiritual entity to a psychological concept, and psychology was being codified as a scientific discipline. The place of “spirit” often drops out of studies of mental embodiment, which has been a primary scholarly focus in recent years. But it is clear from the literature of the period and histories of psychology and psychiatry that spiritual beliefs and practices are a crucial aspect of what was often called “mental philosophy” in the nineteenth century, in ways that are re-emerging in “psycho” and “somatic” therapies in the current moment. Literature of the period provides a means of performing, sharing and therefore identifying or creating mental states that were simultaneously experienced as both inside the individual brain, and outside the body: in the air, in electricity, in ether, in protoplasm, in spirit. These media enable transpersonal transactions and crossings, preventing any clear sense of what is experienced individually and what is held in common. We will study Edgar Allan Poe’s engagements with mesmerism and phrenology; Emily Dickinson’s interest in the difference between the brain and the mind, grounded in studies of anatomy and theology; and the pervasive importance of Spiritualism to late nineteenth-century writers like Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, who conjured a materialist heaven to solace survivors of the Civil War. Other topics may include occult and parapsychological inquiries at the turn of the century; the Mind Cure movement; Christian Science; and occult and parapsychological inquiries at the turn of the century. Other writers may include Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sarah Piatt, Charles Chesnutt, Stephen Crane, and Pauline Hopkins.

African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

AAAD 089-001: Health and Inequality in Africa and the African Diaspora
Lydia Boyd | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

This 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, but case studies from the Caribbean and other African diasporic communities will be included. 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. Topics include gender inequality and HIV/AIDS in Africa; race and chronic disease in the U.S.; inequality and the practice of global health; and how racial difference has historically been used to justify and explain health disparities. Students will gain experience with ethnographic research methods, and work on small qualitative research projects investigating health inequality in their own communities.

AAAD 387: HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Diaspora
Lydia Boyd | TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

This course explores the history and contemporary politics of HIV/AIDS in African communities and across the Diaspora. The differing trajectories of the epidemic on the continent, in the West, and in the Caribbean and Latin America will be explored.

American Studies

AMST 715: Community Histories and Public Humanities: Practicum in UNC Community Histories Workshop
Robert Allen | W 5:00-8:00pm

Community Histories and Public Humanities explores how communities have been, are, and might be preserved, documented, represented, and remembered. Focuses on the use of digitized primary sources and tools to engage communities in public history/humanities initiatives using interdisciplinary approaches informed by American Studies and Folklore. Participants have opportunity to work on ongoing community history/archiving projects. Project-based work is supported by reading in memory studies, representation, sites of trauma, community archiving, and oral history.

For spring term 2022, the UNC Community Histories Workshop offers graduate and professional students from diverse disciplines a practicum-based opportunity to participate in its path-breaking initiative on the history of mental illness and treatment in North Carolina over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

As graduate research fellows, participants will contribute to ongoing and emerging projects around the (1) digitization, transcription, curation, analysis and representation of a unique collection of original historical records reflecting the experiences of more than 7000 individuals diagnosed with a mental illness and committed to the state’s first and principal insane asylum, Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, between 1856 and 1921; and (2) the transcribed and curated papers of Anna Cameron Kirkland, the asylum’s first female patient (1856-1890), drawn principally from family collections held by the UNC Southern Historical Collection. The 306-acre Dix hospital site is being repurposed over the next 5-10 years as a defining urban public park by the City of Raleigh.

These records and the datasets derived from them have recently been made available to the UNC scholarly and clinical communities through an arrangement between the CHW and the UNC Odum Institute for Social Science Research. Participants in the practicum will have full access to these materials during the semester and may apply for continued access beyond the end of the semester for research purposes.

A commitment of an average of ten (flexibly-scheduled, remotely-based) hours per week is expected. Individual responsibilities will reflect project priorities as well as the skill-sets and interests of participants. The course welcomes participants from a wide range of disciplinary and professional orientations as well as UNC Chapel Hill staff. We will strive to accommodate participants with complex and/or unpredictable academic, work, and personal schedules.

*Note: Participants will be dealing with the historical experience of mental illness and trauma, and conducting and sharing amongst ourselves original research into sometimes troubling institutional records. Interested participants should contact Prof. Allen ( ) to set up a Zoom/telephone interview. Enrollment is limited and is by permission of the instructor.


ANTH 147: Comparative Healing Systems
Jocelyn Chua | TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm + 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
Martha King | TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm + Recitation

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 290: COVID and Inequality
Andela Stuesse | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

When the world went into lockdown, the COVID-19 pandemic was dubbed “the great equalizer” by politicians and media alike. This disease would transcend age, nationality, race, wealth, and fame, we were told, as every human on the planet was equally vulnerable. However, as the months wore on we witnessed how longstanding social and economic inequalities set the stage for dramatically different pandemic experiences and outcomes. Centering cultural anthropology’s fundamental analytical frames of globalization, power, and inequality, over the semester we will seek to better understand this moment, exploring how race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality have dramatically shaped communities’ lived realities in relation to the coronavirus in the United States and around the world.

ANTH 319: Global Health
Amanda Thompson | MWF 10:10-11:00am + Recitation

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

ANTH 326: Practicing Medical Anthropology
Martha King | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

A workshop on careers in medical anthropology and the kinds of contributions that medical anthropologists make to health care professions. Students will learn skills including interviewing methods, writing for diverse audiences, blogging. Intended for medical anthropology minors and students interested in bringing anthropological perspectives to a range of practical contexts.

ANTH 390: Special Topics in Medical Anthropology: Social Models of Well-Being: A Fieldwork Course
Michele Rivkin-Fish | MWF 2:30-3:20pm

Medical Anthropology Majors*: get career-relevant experiences in disability rights, occupational sciences, critical gerontology, and more! Enrollment by instructor permission: Prof. Rivkin-Fish can provide students with contact information for local organizations that are cooperating with APPLES and are suitable for our course.

Contact Prof. Rivkin-Fish ( for more information or attend an information session on Tue, 10/26 at 5:00pm in Alumni 205.

*Note: Medical Anthropology Majors will have priority registering for this course, but remaining seats will be open to students with other majors.

ANTH 390: Special Topics in Medical Anthropology: War, Medicine, and the Military
Jocelyn Chua | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

This course provides anthropological perspectives on the interrelationships between medical research and development, military institutions, and processes of making war. Historical and contemporary case studies allow us to consider how medical research and development have been critical to the ways society mobilizes for and produces war, and how the violence of war has pushed the limits of medicine and of the human. Beyond surveying the history of military medicine or asking whether war has been “good” for medicine, the course instead critically considers the wider implications of mobilizing the healing powers and technologies of medicine toward the production of state violence, and of framing war’s effects as medical problems. This includes questions concerning military performance enhancement and experimentation, the militarization of medicine, and the uncertainties of suffering after war. We also consider the implications of these questions at the level of soldiers’ bodily experience: How have soldiers’ physical and psychic capacities to endure and carry out violence been reshaped by medicine, and to what effects? As it becomes increasingly possible to survive grievous injury because of cutting-edge medicine, what does this mean for those inhabiting life after war?

ANTH 470: Medicine and Anthropology
Martha King | MWF 1:25-2:15pm + Recitation

This course examines cultural understandings of health, illness, and medical systems from an anthropological perspective with a special focus on Western medicine.

ANTH 623: Human Disease Ecology
Mark Sorensen | MWF 11:15am-12:05pm

This seminar considers cultural ecologies of disease by examining how social, cultural, and historical factors shape disease patterns. We examine how ecosystems are shaped by disease, how disease shapes ecosystems, and how cultural processes (e.g., population movements, transportation, economic shifts, landscape modifications, and built environments) contribute to emerging infectious disease.

ANTH 690: Special Topics in Anthropology II: Living, Healing, and Dying in Russia
Michele Rivkin-Fish | Th 3:30-6:00pm

This course explores the ways cultural & historical forces shape the life course and the stories told to make sense of them. Specifically, we examine the changing experiences of living, suffering, healing, and dying in Russia through key moments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will focus on ethnographic and literary texts as windows onto cultural values, concerns, and debates that have shaped everyday life in Russia. Topics include family life, sexuality, childbearing and its prevention; health care and alternative healing; survival and the struggle for dignity in GULAG (concentration camps); and care for the dead and dying. By examining compelling works from a range of genres—the short story, the ethnographic case study, the memoir, and the novel—students will learn analytical techniques from both anthropology and literary studies. Knowledge of Russian is not required.


GEOG 052: Political Ecology of Health and Disease
Michael Emch | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

This course examines the ecology of infectious diseases including environmental and anthropogenic drivers of those diseases. During the semester we will focus on several case studies of diseases including COVID-19, malaria, cholera, and HIV/AIDS. The biophysical and evolutionary drivers of diseases will be examined as well as the political, economic, social, and environmental systems that shape health and disease across spatial and temporal scales. A political ecological framework is used to examine such topics as how political forces and economic interests helped shape the HIV/AIDS and malaria pandemics in Africa and beyond. We will also examine how emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19 diffuse through populations and how public health efforts and geographical and epidemiological modelling and analyses can be used to predict and limit their spread.

Health Behavior

HEBH 715: Communication for Health-Related Decision Making
Carol Golin | Th 2:00-3:55pm

Course provides foundation and skills to understand and improve decision making that affects people’s health. It teaches theoretical basis and evidence-based applications of health-related decision making.


HNRS 089H-001: Narrative and Medicine: Writing COVID/Writing Us
Terrance Holt | M 2:00-4:30pm

A workshop in autobiographical and creative short story, focusing on the complex connections between story-telling, interpretive skill, and the practice of medicine. Students will write and distribute autobiographical and and creative short stories about illness and medical care; the seminar will meet weekly to discuss these stories, attempting to identify and articulate the key issues each story expresses about what it means to be sick, what it might mean to take care of others in their illness. The writing and (especially) interpretive skills acquired in this workshop are directly valuable to anyone contemplating a career in medicine, but are equally valuable to anyone who might at some point encounter (in themselves or in someone they care for) the trauma of illness. In addition to the weekly workshop, participants will have one-on-one conferences with the instructor (himself an MD with an international reputation as a writer). The capstone project will be a public reading (via webinar, allowing participants to invite an audience from anywhere on the globe) of participants’ work, which may (at student option) be in the form of a film composed under guidance of experts at the University’s Media Resources Center illustrating images and themes from the written work.

Media and Journalism

MEJO 560: Environmental and Science Journalism
Tom Linden | MWF 2:00-3:15pm

Prepare students to work as environmental and science journalists. The course emphasizes writing skills in all delivery formats and interpreting environmental, science, and medical information for consumers.

MEJO 825/HBEH 825: Seminar in Interdisciplinary Health Communication
Allison Lazard | W 9:30am-12:15pm

Interdisciplinary overview of communication theory and research and critical analysis of applications of theory to interventions using communication for health. Three hours per week.

*Note: Prerequisite, HBEH 730. Permission required for non-majors.


PHIL 165: Bioethics
Lucia Schwarz | MWF 12-20-1:10pm
Sara Copic | MWF 8:00-8:50am

An examination of ethical issues in the life sciences and technologies, medicine, public health, and/or human interaction with nonhuman animals or the living environment.

*Note: Some seats are reserved for PPE minors until 12:01am on Friday, 11/5/21.

Public Policy

PLCY 565/HPM 565: Global Health Policy
Benjamin Meier | TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

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.

Public Health

PUBH 420: The HIV/AIDS Course (Undergraduate version)
PUBH 720: The HIV/AIDS Course (Graduate version)
Ronald Strauss & Christopher Hutt | TuTh 5:45-7:00pm

This course offers participants a multidisciplinary perspective on HIV/AIDS — its etiology, immunology, epidemiology, and impact on individuals and society. How HIV/AIDS is framed by a society determines not only how affected persons are treated but also the degree to which the rights of the individual are upheld.

*Note: PUBH 420 is for undergraduates and is a pass/fail class. Graduate students should enroll in PUBH 720 which has the H,P,L grading basis.

PUBH 710: Introduction to Global Health Ethics
Karine Dube | TBA

This course is designed to give students the skills to identify and effectively address ethical issues that arise in global health research and practice.

*Note: This 1-credit hour class will meet five times in the Spring term, for 3 hr block.

Religious Studies

RELI 368/WGST 370: Race, Sexuality, and Disability in the History of Western Christianity
Jessica Boon | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

Over time, Christian institutions and traditions have helped constitute contemporary narratives of race, sexuality, and disability in society. This course examines shifting definitions and specific case studies from the premodern era through to contemporary discourses and polemics in America.

Romance Studies

ROML 089-001: Déjà vu: Medicine and Narration across Time and Space
Dorothea Heitsch | MWF 11:15am-12:15pm

Hallucinations, depression, hysteria, paranoia, anxiety, neurosis, body dysmorphic disorder, obsession, and pain are only some of the symptoms that will be reflected in the narratives of this course. The authors featured in this seminar are familiar with the medical knowledge of their time and are often patients themselves suffering from the medical conditions they describe. Throughout the semester, we will examine the practices of authors – such as Maupassant, Montaigne, Selzer, Sembène, or Meruane – who not only borrow heavily from medicine in composing their works but also conceive of writing itself as something medical, that is, as having a therapeutic function for both writer and reader. Accordingly, we will study a group of writers and artists across time and space who explore, adapt, and converse with contemporaneous medical learning in their creative works.


SOCI 172: Introduction to Population Health in the United States
Robert Hummer | TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm
Alyssa Browne | Tu Th 8:00-9:15am

This course aims to provide an introduction to the study of population health in the United States. Key goals include understanding the measurement and theoretical frameworks underlying the study of population health, understanding trends and disparities in U.S. population health, and understanding policy options to improve population health.

SOCI 180: Introduction to Global Population Health
Bethany Stoutamire | MWF 10:10-11:00am

This course provides students with an introduction to population health, with an emphasis on three perspectives: demographic methods for assembling data and evidence, the social determinants of health framework, and the role of global institutions and movements in population health.

SOCI 422: Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
Katrina Branecky | MWF 1:25-2:15pm

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
Taylor Hargrove | TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

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.

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

WGST 370/RELI 368: Race, Sexuality, and Disability in the History of Western Christianity
Jessica Boon | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

Over time, Christian institutions and traditions have helped constitute contemporary narratives of race, sexuality, and disability in society. This course examines shifting definitions and specific case studies from the premodern era through to contemporary discourses and polemics in America.

C-Start Courses

Note: C-Start courses are 1 credit hour, pass/fail courses taught by UNC students (with a faculty mentor). While they are run out of Honors Carolina, enrollment is open to all UNC students. The courses listed below are tentative, pending C-Start committee approval at the end of the fall term.

SPCL 400.301: The Science and Art of Cooking for Health: Food as Medicine
Student Instructor: Serenity Bennett
Faculty Mentor: Alice Ammerman
Tu, 5:00-7:00pm

Food is highly connected to overall health and wellbeing. As a result, inequitable access to healthy and nutritious foods are directly linked to health disparities. Therefore, all healthcare workers should be well versed in nutrition and practical cooking so they can advise their patients and the communities they are serving. The main goal of this course is to provide future healthcare and public health workers with the tools needed to address health disparities through culinary medicine (although those not interested in healthcare are also welcome to attend).

This course will take a nuanced and multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the role of food in maintaining and restoring health. By integrating the fields of nutrition, biology, culinary arts, anthropology and public health, the course will explore the context and research behind the use of food as medicine.

Interactive lectures, cooking demonstrations, ingredients analysis, and hands on activities that will allow students to answer the following questions:

  • What is culinary medicine?
  • How can we look at nutrition from a disease lens?
  • How does a healthcare worker encourage healthy eating habits?
  • How do we incorporate cultural humility and sensitivity in nutrition advising?
  • How is culinary medicine tied to the overall concept of food justice?
  • How do inequities in food access relate to health disparities?

SPCL 400.303: The Representation and Medicalization of Disease Pathologies in Modern Film
Student Instructor: Chelsea Deitelzweig
Faculty Mentor: Bradley Hammer
Th, 5:00-7:00pm

Does modern film accurately portray the healthcare conditions our society currently faces? Can movies impact the way we view illness?

This course will aim to explore how certain diseases and health conditions are medicalized and represented in modern films, including but not limited to mental illness, alcoholism, obesity, aging, abortion, AIDS, and cancer. Over the course of this class, we will synthesize the study of film narratives, cultural understanding, and medical nomenclature for a nuanced and holistic analysis of the movie media we consume and how it compares to real-world experiences of illness. Examples of films included in our course of study will include Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Rent, and Silver Linings Playbook. By studying character arc, archetypes, threads, conflict, and social/moral commentary in film, we will also explore how depictions of disease pathologies relate to larger social issues, such as racial discrimination, gender equality, and LGBTQ rights.

Overall, this course will engage students in discussion as we investigate the relationship among literary representation and healthcare.

SPCL 400.309: First on Scene
Student Instructor: Kriti Patel
Faculty Mentor: Sarah Boyd
Mon, 5:00-7:00pm

Have you ever watched a medical drama where they perform a crazy yet lifesaving procedure on someone having a medical emergency outside of the hospital? Have you then wondered if that would actually work in the real world? Can you relieve pressure in the brain with a drill from your garage? How about performing a cricothyrotomy with a knife and pen? What about making a chest tube from any old piece of tubing? In this class, we will be addressing questions like these, and more importantly, whether someone with adequate training should even attempt them or if it’s all dramatized to make entertaining television.

Each class will be focusing on a specific body system: cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, digestive, endocrine, immune, skeletal, integumentary, urinary, and reproductive. We will begin by learning about the common emergencies associated with each system, covering first-aid skills that can be performed by anyone during emergencies such as cardiac arrests, obstructed airways, opioid overdoses, allergic reactions, or strokes. In addition, we will discuss the various interventions performed by healthcare providers in both the field and hospital to help save lives. Finally, we will apply the knowledge we have gained to clips from medical dramas to decipher exactly how much of what we are seeing on tv is fact and how much is fiction. By the end of the course, students will gain a working knowledge of various types of medical emergencies, develop clinical decision-making skills, and form a better understanding of the realities of healthcare.

SPCL 400.312: The Culture, Science, and Breadth of Integrative Medicine
Student Instructor: Malik Tiedt
Faculty Mentor: Jessical Barnhill
Wed, 5:00-7:00pm

In simple terms, integrative medicine incorporates complementary and traditional healthcare modalities into the biomedical realm of individualized, patient-centered healthcare. Whether it be taking herbal medicines or consulting with a chiropractor, various populations increasingly rely on complementary and traditional modalities to both maintain wellness and prevent disease. It is therefore imperative for future healthcare practitioners to recognize the complexities of medical pluralism and integrative medicine.

This multidisciplinary, seminar-based course draws from the fields of public health, medical anthropology, philosophy, ethics, social medicine, implementation science, and more. Through seminar discussions and class activities, pre-health students will explore how these fields perceive various modalities (i.e. acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), naturopathy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, yoga…) within the context of their future careers. Students who complete this seminar will hold a basic understanding of the many scientific, cultural, and social factors related to incorporating traditional healthcare modalities into clinical practice.

The following units will be covered in this course:

  • The fundamentals of biomedicine, complementary and traditional medicine, and integrative healthcare.
  • Using evidence, science, and research to evaluate the integration of traditional and complementary healthcare therapies into the biomedical healthcare systems.
  • Decolonizing complementary and traditional healthcare practices: identifying cultural appropriation.
  • Using implementation science to inform the incorporation of complementary and traditional healthcare practices into the biomedical healthcare system.
  • The global practice of integrative medicine and medical pluralism.
  • Professional collaboration and communication within the field of integrative medicine.

SPCL 400.314: The Asylum and the Archive: The Humanity of Dorothea Dix Asylum in the 19th and Early 20th Century
Student Instructor: Abby Wooten
Faculty Mentor: Robert Allen
Wed, 4:45-6:45pm

From 1856 to 2012, Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh was the state’s principal insane asylum. Today, the site of the hospital is being reimagined as a “destination” park. The archival records of the hospital, preserved by the State Archives of North Carolina, represent a unique resource for understanding North Carolina history and the emergence of modern psychiatry in America. Since 2017, UNC’s Community Histories Workshop has excavated these records to recover the lives of thousands of individuals who were treated there. Over the past two years, CHW staff and UNC students have used these records to research and write historical case studies that humanize the plight of individuals treated at the asylum between 1856 and 1918. These case studies, the records upon which they are based, the burgeoning scholarly literature on the history of psychiatry, and the expertise of UNC researchers and clinicians form the basis for this course.

By the end of this course, students will have used multiple individuals’ life stories as well as conversations with professionals in the humanities, social science, information and library science, and health science to prompt a better understanding of not just North Carolina, but how these patients’ afflictions, illnesses, and circumstances connect with today’s national mental health treatment crisis. This interdisciplinary approach intends to affect students’ understanding of the history of mental illness and its lingering impacts.