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Withdrawn Module: Medical Humanitarianism in African History (HI2B3)

This module was available until 2018,
but has now been withdrawn
and is no longer available


Tutor: Dr. Kathleen Vongsathorn

Module Description

This course explores the history of medical humanitarianism in Africa, beginning with systems of aid and healing already existent in Africa before the arrival of Europeans, and continuing through the colonial period into the present. It assesses the role of voluntary actors, the state, patients, and African workers, in pursuing the health of Africans, following continuities and differences in medical aid in pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial states. Exploring history with a view to understanding contemporary medical humanitarian crises in Africa, a variety of themes will be explored, including the origins, motivations, and assumptions behind medical humanitarianism; the transition from its missionary origins to the international health organizations and NGOs that we recognise today; and the social, religious, political, and economic priorities that have shaped aid. Many of these themes will be explored through case studies of health issues that have historically been of great concern to medical humanitarians in Africa, such as maternal and child welfare, leprosy, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola.

Seminar Topics and Readings

Week 1: Introduction to Health in Africa

Week 2: Colonial Medicine and Humanitarianism

Week 3: Saving the Child

Week 4: Saving Women?

Week 5: Humanitarianism and Decolonization

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Post-Colonial Humanitarianism

Week 8: Eradicating Disease

Week 9: HIV/AIDS: A Humanitarian Failure?

Week 10: Contemporary Humanitarians: Ebola

Readings on Talis Aspire

Readings on Course Extracts

Module Information

Assessment