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Mind, Body, and Society: The History of Medicine and Health (HI176)

This 30 CATS first-year option module will introduce students to concepts in the history of the body and mind, and how they have been framed across place and time. We will cover a wide thematic range -- from the introduction and spread of 'medical science', to the dark histories of racial science and eugenics, to the moral judgments placed upon unruly bodies and behaviours. Far from remaining static over time, the constitution of 'normal' and 'abnormal' minds and bodies will be shown to have changed dramatically during the modern period. Geographically, this module will provide global perspectives on a range of topics, with case studies focused on Europe, Africa, India, Russia, and beyond. Lectures will be delivered by the academic staff of the History Department's Centre for the History of Medicine.

Lectures in term one will focus on the the advent of biomedicine and its spread across the globe, and changing conceptions of mental health since the nineteenth century. Lectures in term two will explore a variety of themes from a range of different historical and historiographical perspectives, and will challenge students to consider the roots of medical and biological prejudice. Topics in term three will tackle contemporary ethical concerns and debates, drawing on historical and interdisciplinary perspectives. Workshops at the end of terms one and two will equip students to start doing their own primary-source research and how to construct effective historical arguments.

Because the module covers such wide-ranging topics, periods and terrains, it is especially important that you keep up with the required readings, all of which are available online via e-journals, e-books, and online course extracts. If you are unfamiliar with or cannot access ANY of these resources, please contact the Module Convenor right away for help.

For more information, please see: