HST6073: Medical Humanity? Medicine and Identity
15 credits (Semester 2018-19: Autumn | Semester 2019-20: Autumn)
Module Leader: Dr Chris Millard
'My objective for more than twenty-five years has been to sketch out a history of the different ways in our culture that humans develop knowledge about themselves: economics, biology, psychiatry, medicine, and penology. The main point is not to accept this knowledge at face value but to analyze these so-called sciences as very specific "truth games" related to specific techniques that human beings use to understand themselves.' – Michel Foucault
Medicine is centrally concerned with human identity. From the promotion of health and treatment of illness, to probing human consciousness with psychoanalysis or neuroscience, medicine is at the forefront of our self-management and self-knowledge. This course will familiarize you with the major ways in which humans has been managed and modified in modern medicine. From brain scans and neurochemicals, to discussions of penis envy and castration anxiety, efforts to cure people have had far-reaching consequences for human experience. From the provision of contraceptives to the sugar tax, ideas of health make up a huge part of who we are, and what we do.
By the end of the module, you will be able to:
|Seminar hours||Tutorial hours||Independent Learning|
The module will be taught in five, two-hour classes. Each class covers a distinct idea about humans and human health and identity such as Freudian psychoanalysis, public health, medical anthropology and sociology, and neuroscience (LOs 1, 3). These ideas will not be presented in isolation, and throughout subsequent seminars, you will be asked to think about links, similarities and differences between these models (LO4). You will have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to reflect upon your own work, and how you employ – and also stand back from – ideas of human health in history (LO2).
Seminars will be structured so that debate, reflection, source analysis and discussion can all take place on the ways in which ideas of human health and illness have changed over the past century, with implications for ideas of human nature. It will also tease out the ways in which these ideas have implications for the writing of history in general (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). These seminars will also have space to reflect on the different parts of human identity and health, including gendered and ethnic identity, and how they are implicated in broader visions of human life and health (LO 6).
|Assessment||% of final mark||Length|
You will prepare a 3,000-word paper on a topic agreed with the tutor. The paper will be expected to situate one or more understandings of human health and the intricate connections it has with identity (LOs 1, 3, 4), but also to tease out its consequences for the writing of history (LO 2).
- David Armstrong A New History of Identity London: Palgrave Macmillan (2002)
- Felicity Callard & Constantina Papoulias ‘Biology’s Gift: Interrogating the Turn to Affect’ Body and Society 16(1) (2010): 29-56
- Roger Cooter with Claudia Stein Writing History in the Age of Biomedicine London, Yale University Press (2013)
- Michel Foucault The History of Sexuality vol.1: The Will to Knowledge (trans. Robert Hurley) New York, Random House (1978)
- Elizabeth Lunbeck The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender and Power in Postwar America Princeton, Princeton University Press (1994)
- Ian Hacking Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Science of Memory Princeton University Press (1998)
- Joan W. Scott ‘The Evidence of Experience’ Critical Enquiry 17(4) (1991): 773-797
- Rhodri Hayward The Transformation of the Psyche in British Primary Care: 1880-1970 London, Bloomsbury (2014)
- Annemarie Mol The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice Duke University Press (2002)
- Nikolas Rose and Joelle Abi-Rached Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind Princeton University Press (2013)
- Dorothy Porter, Health, Civilization and the State: A History of Public Health From Ancient to Modern Times London, Verso (1999)
- Katherine Foxhall Making Modern Migraine Medieval: Men of Science, Hildegard of Bingen and the Life of a Retrospective Diagnosis’ Medical History 58(3) (2014): 354-374
- Hillary Rose and Stephen Rose Genes, Cells and Brains: The Promethean Promises of the New Biology London, Verso (2012)
- Mathew Thomson Psychological Subjects: Identity, Culture, and Health in Twentieth-Century Britain Oxford, Oxford University Press (2006)
- Ruth Leys ‘The Turn to Affect: A Critique’ Critical Enquiry 37 (2011): 434-472
*The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.