Syllabus Anthropology 101g, Section 10601

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Dr. Erin Moore Department of Anthropology

Spring 2018 University of Southern California

Classroom: KAP 140, M and W 8:30-9:50

Office: Kaprielian 340, by appointment or after class.

Syllabus Anthropology 101g, Section 10601 (Draft 1/6/18)

Body, Mind and Healing: Introduction to Medical Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of what it means to be human across time and species. Anthropologists study social-cultural, biological and historical perspectives. This course introduces students to medical anthropology from a cultural perspective. This is not a class for healing ourselves but about the anthropology of the body and how different cultures interpret the body, illness and healing in a surprising variety of ways.

1. Medical Anthropology is one of the newest children in the field of Anthropology. The class begins by looking at the role of the medical anthropologists in three cultures: Fresno California, Fiji, and New Guinea. We look at a variety of roles of the medical anthropologist: with the state in requiring medical treatments, disordered eating and solving the hidden mysteries of cannibalism.

2. People everywhere get sick and all societies have developed practices, technologies and medicines to treat illness. However, not all peoples understand sickness, healing, or even what it means to have a body in the same way. What kinds of healing rituals have been developed and what gives them their power? We will discuss yoga and meditation, placebo, nocebo, shamans, possessions, acupuncture, religious healers, and biomedical doctors.

3. We will examine the politics and economics of health care. According to the Harvard M.D. and Anthropologist, Paul Farmer, who gets sick and why they are sick is less about pathogens and more about the roles of global economies and the “structural violence” suffered by the poor.

I have chosen materials from a wide variety of cultures including India, Brazil, China, Fiji, native North America, Europe, Indonesia, New Guinea, Mexico, California, Haiti, Russia, Cuba and Peru.

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