Society for Medical Anthropology

A section of the American Anthropological Association

Academic Resources: Introductory syllabi

 

We've tried to group each syllabus according to the major themes of the course. Many courses, however, encompass multiple themes.
    • If you run a course with significant anthropological content for students at an undergraduate or graduate level, you are invited to contribute details of the syllabus and readings to the SMA archive of academic resources. Each contribution indicates the instructor, the institution where the course was taught and the date when it last ran. Please submit your contribution to webmaster. If you've submitted in the past, please send updates.

general & introductory courses

undergrad & graduate (follow the link for the exhaustive list)

anthropology & demography

Diet, Demography and Disease (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Spring 2002

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2001

anthropology & epidemiology

Anthropology and Epidemiology (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Fall 2001

Determinants of Health Behavior (word doc)
Kirk Dearden, Brigham Young University, Fall 2005

Diet, Demography and Disease (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Spring 2002

Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases of Public Health Import in Developing Countries (word doc)
Richard Cash, Harvard School of Public Health, 2002-2003

"Racial Health" and the American South
Keith Wailoo, Harvard University, Fall 1998

anthropology & genetics

Genetics and Society
B. Fleury, Loyola University, Fall 1999

Genetics, Biotechnology, and Society
Karen Rader, Sarah Lawrence College, Fall 2001

Science, Technology, and Medicine: Global Knowledges
Donna Haraway, University of California - Santa Cruz, Winter 1999

 

anthropology & global/international health

Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases of Public Health Import in Developing Countries (word doc)
Richard Cash, Harvard School of Public Health, 2002-2003

Determinants of Health Behavior (word doc)
Kirk Dearden, Brigham Young University, Fall 2005

Anthropology and International Health
Dr. Pamela Erickson, University of Connecticut, Fall 2003

Political Ecology/Economy of Health (word doc)
Dr. Anne Ferguson, Michigan State, Spring 2005

Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2001

Global Health: New Horizons in Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Disease (pdf)
Dr. Vinay R. Kamat, University of British Columbia, Winter 2008

Medical Anthropology in Public Health (word doc)
Dr. Helen Lambert, University of Bristol/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1997

Health and Culture (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Fall 2000

Anthropology and International Health A (first 14 themes of year-long course)
Dr. Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Fall 2003

Anthropology and International Health B (second 14 themes of year-long course)
Dr. Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

International Health Seminar: History of International Health and Development
Randall Packard, Johns Hopkins University, 2005

Introduction to International Health (143-page PDF document)
Peter Winch, Johns Hopkins University, 2003-04

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2003

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2002

anthropology & nursing

Clinically Applied Anthropology (word doc)
Noel Chrisman, University of Washington, Spring 2001

Transcultural Nursing Practice (word doc)
Noel Chrisman, University of Washington, Summer 2002

anthropology & reproductive health

check out the American Women's Medical Association's Reproductive Health Initiative Model Curriculum

The Anthropology of New Reproductive Technologies (pdf)
Linda Layne, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Fall 2001

The Anthropology of Reproduction (word doc)
Caroline Bledsoe, Northwestern University, Fall 2002

Anthropology of Reproduction
Robbie Davis-Floyd PhD, University of Texas, Spring 2001

Anthropology of Reproduction (word doc)
Professor Lynn M. Morgan, Mount Holyoke College, Fall 2000

Culture and Reproduction
Pamela Erickson, University of Connecticut, Fall 2001

Family Planning (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2001

Health and Culture (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Fall 2000

Race in the Bio-Medical Construction of "Woman"
Michelle Murphy, Cornell University, Fall 1998

RTIs, STDs, Cervical Cancer, Infertility (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Women's Health and Safe Motherhood, Maternal Mortality, Abortion (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

adolescent health

Adolescent Health (word doc)
Professor Mimi Nichter, University of Arizona, Fall 2001

Adolescent Social Development and Health (word doc)
Dr. Jennifer Maggs, University of Arizona, Fall 1998

aging

The Anthropology of Aging and the Aged
Dr. K. Brook, Montclair State University

Demography of Aging (pdf)
Dr. Emily M. Agree, Johns Hopkins University, Spring 1996

Demography of Aging and the Life Course (pdf)
Fran Goldscheider, Brown University, Spring 1997

Mortality
Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 1996

Sociology of Health and Aging (pdf)
Prof. Barbara Anderson, University of Michigan, Fall 1998

Collected Syllabi on Demography, Economics and Epidemiology of Aging
from the National Institute on Aging

anthropology of the body

Anthropology of the Body (word doc)
Sabrina Chase, Rutgers University, Summer 1995

Anthropology of Body, Health and Illness
Asli Carkoglu, Sabanci University (Turkey), Fall 2004

Anthropology of the Body, Health, and Illness
Professor Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Fall 2001

Culture, Mental Illness, and the Body
Prof. Byron J. Good, Harvard University, Fall 2000

Medicine, Bodies, and Power
David Valentine, Sarah Lawrence College, Fall 2002

Medicine, Bodies, and Power
David Valentine, Sarah Lawrence College, Spring 2003

Race, Medicine and the Body (word doc
Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, Arizona State University, 2005

Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (word doc)
Janelle Taylor, University of Washington, Winter 2005

The Vulnerable Body: Anthropological Understandings
Prof. Anastasia Karakasidou, Wellesley College, Spring 2002

anthropology of nutrition

Diet, Demography and Disease (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Spring 2002

Food and Nutrition
Dr. Richard W. Franke, Montclair State University, Spring 2001

Medical and Nutritional Anthropology (Term 1 - Nutrition) (word doc)
Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick, University of Durham (UK), 2001-02

anthropology of risk

Health, Risk, and History
Graham Mooney, Johns Hopkins University

alcohol & drugs

Alcohol, Science & Society
J. McIntosh, Lehigh University, Spring 2001

Drinks, Drugs, and Do-Gooders
J. McIntosh, Lehigh University, Spring 1999

Reducing Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses: Addressing Student Health through Public Interest Anthropology
Francis Johnston, PhD (Dept. of Anthropology) Kate Ward-Gaus MS Ed (Office of Health Education) Stephanie Ives MA (Office of Health Education), University of Pennsylvania

 

biocultural approaches to medical anthropology

Applied Biocultural Anthropology (word doc)
Dr. Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Spring 2000

The Biocultural Basis of Health (word doc)
Dr. Craig Janes, Colorado University, Denver, Spring 2003

bioethics

Biology, Ethics, and Society
Prof. D. J. Kevles, tentative syllabus, Spring 1999

Biomedicine, Bioscience and Society
London School of Economics and Political Science, 2004-2005

Death, Suffering, Spirituality, and Medicine
Guy Micco, M.D., University of California at Berkeley, Spring 1999

Genetics and Society
B. Fleury, Loyola University, Fall 1999

Genetics, Biotechnology, and Society
Karen Rader, Sarah Lawrence College, Fall 2001

Bibliography - Ethics Committee Core Curriculum, University of Buffalo Center for Clinical Ethics and Humanities in Health Care

child health

Anthropology of Childhood (pdf)
John Bock, California State University-Fullerton

chronic illnesses

Social Suffering: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology
Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, Fall 2003

clinical settings

Clinically Applied Anthropology (word doc)
Noel Chrisman, University of Washington, Spring 2001

Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Fall 2000

death & dying

Comparative Study of Death (word doc)
James W. Green, University of Washington, Spring 2003

Matters of Life and Death
Robert J. Graham, Lee University

Mortality
Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 1996

demographic & health transitions

Comparative Study of Death (word doc)
James W. Green, University of Washington, Spring 2003

Matters of Life and Death
Robert J. Graham, Lee University

Mortality
Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 1996

disability

Doing Disability in Theory and Everyday Life
Tanya Titchkosky, University of Toronto, Fall 2006

Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (word doc)
Janelle Taylor, University of Washington, Winter 2005

Check out Disability Resources

environmental & occupational health

EMPTY -- Send in Your Syllabi!!!

 

ethnicity, race & health

syllabi from History of Race in Science at MIT:

Gender and Race in the Social Studies of Science
Evelynn Hammonds and Anne Fausto-Sterling, Women's Studies, Radcliffe College, Spring 1998

Instructor's Guide, Race and Health
Ed Morman, Associate Librarian for Historical Collections, The New York Academy of Medicine

Intersectionality and Women's Health: Ethnographic Approaches to Race, Class, Gender, and "Difference"(word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2003

Race in the Bio-Medical Construction of "Woman"
Michelle Murphy, Cornell University, Fall 1998

Race, Medicine and the Body (word doc)
Seline Szkupinski Quiroga, Arizona State University, 2005

Race, Science and Technology
Stafan Helmreich, New York University

"Racial Health" and the American South
Conference Course, Keith Wailoo, Harvard University, Fall 1998

Science and Race
Professor Charis Thompson, Harvard University, Spring 2002

Science, Technology, and Race
Carlos Martín, Stanford University

ethnomedicine

Anthropology and Ethnomedicine
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2001

Belief, Symbols and Systems of Thought (word doc)
Anne Sutherland, Georgia State University

Ethnomedicine (word doc)
Pamela Erickson, University of Connecticut, Spring 2006

Health and Culture (word doc)
Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Fall 2000

family & community health

Theoretical Foundations of Community and Family Health
Jeannine Coreil, University of South Florida, Fall 2003

gender & health

The Anthropology of Reproduction (word doc)
Caroline Bledsoe, Northwestern University, Fall 2002

Ethnographic Approaches to Sexuality and Gender
David Valentine, NYU, Spring 2001

Gender and Health: Feminist Ethnographies (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Winter 2002

Gender and Race in the Social Studies of Science
Evelynn Hammonds and Anne Fausto-Sterling, Women's Studies, Radcliffe College, Spring 1998

Intersectionality and Women's Health: Ethnographic Approaches to Race, Class, Gender, and "Difference"(word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2003

Race in the Bio-Medical Construction of "Woman"
Michelle Murphy, Cornell University, Fall 1998

Sexuality and Gender in Anthropology
David Valentine, Sarah Lawrence College, Fall 2001

health care-seeking behavior

The Household Production of Health: An Overview of Issues (part I) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

The Household Production of Health: An Overview of Issues (part II) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

health & development

Political Ecology/Economy of Health (word doc)
Dr. Anne Ferguson, Michigan State, Spring 2005

The Anthropology of Development
Arjun Guneratne, Macalester College, Fall 2000

Development Anthropology
Dr. Richard Franke, Montclair State University, Fall 2003

Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases of Public Health Import in Developing Countries (word doc)
Richard Cash, Harvard School of Public Health, 2002-2003

 

health & human rights

Human Rights & Science in the World Community: Issues & Actions
Richard Claude, Princeton University, Spring 1996

Medicine, Human Rights, and the Physician
Carola Eisenberg & Kris Heggenhougen, Harvard Medical School, Fall 1998

Political Ecology/Economy of Health (word doc)
Dr. Anne Ferguson, Michigan State, Spring 2005

Human Rights
Michael Green, University of Chicago, Autumn 2000

Power and Violence in Central America and Mexico (word doc)
Prof. Linda Green, University of Arizona, Fall 2000

Health and Human Rights
Sofia Gruskin, Harvard School of Public Health, Winter 1998

Health and Human Rights Law
Peter Hall, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Spring 2001

AIDS, Health, and Human Rights
Jonathan Mann, Harvard College, Spring 1996

Health and Human Rights
Elizabeth A. Pendo, St. Thomas University School of Law, Summer 2001

Fundamentals of International Health and Human Rights Law
Vanessa von Struense, Donetsk National University, Ukraine, Winter 2001

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2002

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2001

Human Rights and Health
University of California, Berkeley, Fall 1998

health & social science methodology

Ethnographic Research Methods (pdf)
W. Penn Handwerker, University of Connecticut, Fall 2006

Feminist Research Methodologies
Kari McBride, University of Arizona, Spring 2000

Formal Qualitative Research Methods (word doc)
Carl Kendall, Tulane University, Spring 2002

Health Social Science -full year (word doc)
Nick Higgenbotham, University of Newcastle (Australia), 2002

Qualitative Research I and II (word doc)
Joel Gittelsohn, Lori Leonard and Peter Winch, Johns Hopkins University, 2001-2002

Qualitative Research Methods (word doc)
Pamela Erickson, University of Connecticut, Fall 2006

Qualitative Research Methods (word doc)
Allan Steckler & Margaret Bentley, UNC-Chapel Hill, Spring 2002

Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (word doc)
Susan McCombie, Georgia State University, Spring 2001

Qualitative methods course syllabi collected by Bobbi Kerlin

history of health

Cultural Histories of Medicine
Stephanie Kenen, Harvard University, Spring 2002

Health and Society in Modern Latin America: A History (pdf)
Marcos Cueto, School of Public Health, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Health, Risk, and History
Graham Mooney, Johns Hopkins University

History of Public Health
Graham Mooney, Johns Hopkins University

History of Epidemiology I
Harry M. Marks, Johns Hopkins University

History of Epidemiology II: Epidemiology & Public Health
Harry M. Marks, Johns Hopkins University

International Health Seminar: History of International Health and Development
Randall Packard, Johns Hopkins University

What is the Cultural History of Medicine (Science and Technology)?
Mary Fissell, Johns Hopkins University

Also see the Medical Humanities Syllabi Collection from NYU School of Medicine

HIV/AIDS

Syllabi from the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group (includes syllabi from the 2005-2006 academic year)

AIDS, Health, and Human Rights
Jonathan Mann, Harvard College, Spring 1996

Case Studies: Thailand and Africa (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Culture, Sexuality and HIV Transmission and Discourse (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Disease and Culture
Elizabeth Toon, Cornell University, Fall 2002

HIV/AIDS and Social Relations: The Politics of Illness and Healing in Contemporary Africa (word doc)
Dr. Hansjoerg Dilger, University of Florida, Fall 2005

HIV/AIDS in Global Context
Dr. C. Candace Coffman, UC Irvine, Spring 2007

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2003

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2002

Public Health Communication and AIDS (word doc)
Carl Kendall, Ph.D., Tulane University

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2002

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2001

Social Suffering: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology
Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, Fall 2003

indigenous health

Indigenous Peoples Health: Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa (New Zealand) -- Advanced Seminar (word doc)
Dr. Dara Culhane and Denielle Elliott, Simon Fraser University, 2005

inequities

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2003

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2002

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2002

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2001

infectious diseases

Biological Anthropology (word doc)
Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick, University of Durham (UK), January 2002

Case Studies: Thailand and Africa (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Culture, Sexuality and HIV Transmission and Discourse (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Disease and Culture
Elizabeth Toon, Cornell University, Fall 2002

Disease Control: Comparative Perspectives
Harry Marks and Randall Packard, Johns Hopkins University, Fall 2002

Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases of Public Health Import in Developing Countries (word doc)
Richard Cash, Harvard School of Public Health, 2002-2003

Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2001

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2003

Poverty, Culture, and Infectious Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Spring 2002

Public Health Communication and AIDS (word doc)
Carl Kendall, Ph.D., Tulane University

RTIs, STDs, Cervical Cancer, Infertility (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

The Social Roots of Health and Disease (word doc)
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University, Fall 2001

Syllabi from the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group

 

linguistic and visual approaches to medical anthropology

Medical Anthropology in Clinical and Community Settings (word doc)
Professor Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Fall 2000

Narrative Pathologies, Narrative Cures
Chris Amirault, Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, Spring 1999

The Nature of Illness
Richard Martinez, M.H, M.D., University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Winter 2000

Tyranny of the Normal: Representations of Medicine in Film and Culture
Andrew Schonebaum, Barnard College, Fall 2004

Wounded Storytellers: Narratives of Illness in Literature
Johanna Shapiro, University of California, Irvine, Spring 2000

men's health

Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2001

(political) ecological approaches to health

Biological Anthropology (word doc)
Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick, University of Durham (UK), January 2002

Geographic Medicine
Richard V. Lee, Ann McElroy, SUNY Buffalo, Fall 2001

Global Health: Anthropological Perspectives (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2001

Social and Ecological Aspects of Health and Disease (word doc)
Sabrina Chase, Rutgers University, Fall 2001

power and violence

In the Aftermath of Conflict: Ethnographic Analysis of Revelations to do with Pain, Investigation, Perpetration and Betrayal (word doc), (The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission forms the Central Case Study)
Dr. Pamela Reynolds, University of California at Berkeley, Fall 2000

Medicine, Bodies, and Power
David Valentine, Sarah Lawrence College, Spring 2003

Perspectives in Medical Anthropology (word doc)
Janelle Taylor, University of Washington, Spring 2005

Power and Violence in Central America and Mexico (word doc)
Prof. Linda Green, University of Arizona, Fall 2000

Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (word doc)
Janelle Taylor, University of Washington, Winter 2005

Social Suffering: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology
Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, Fall 2003

psychiatric and psychological anthropology

Syllabi from the Society for Psychological Anthropology

Syllabi of University Courses in the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences
from Cheiron: The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences

American Psychos and The Culture of Mental Illness
Chris Amirault, Brown University, 1998

Culture, Mental Illness, and the Body
Prof. Byron J. Good, Harvard University, Fall 2000

Identity and Agency
Dorothy Holland, University of North Carolina, Spring 2000

Madness and Culture (word doc)
James M. Wilce, Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, Spring 2001

Psychological Anthropology
Dr. Kathryn Anderson-Levitt, UM-Dearborn, Fall 2000

Psychological Anthropology
Gerald M. Erchak, Skidmore College, Spring 2001

Psychological Anthropology
Daniel Linger, University of California, Santa Cruz

Psychological Anthropology: Culture, Self and Society
Professor Mark Peterson, The American University in Cairo

Psychological Anthropology
Dr. Ron Reminick, Cleveland State University, Spring 2001

Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (word doc)
Janelle Taylor, University of Washington, Winter 2005

refugee health

Sociology of Refugees and Genocide
Niranjan S. Karnik, M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Spring 1996

sexuality

Anthropology of Homosexuality
David Valentine, SUNY Purchase, Fall 1999

Anthropology of Sexualities (word doc)
Professor Lynn M. Morgan, Mount Holyoke College, Fall 2001

Culture, Sexuality and HIV Transmission and Discourse (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Ethnographic Approaches to Sexuality and Gender
David Valentine, NYU, Spring 2001

Sexuality and Gender in Anthropology
David Valentine, Sarah Lawrence College, Fall 2001

Social Difference and Medical Knowledge (word doc)
Janelle Taylor, University of Washington, Winter 2005

Transgender Histories, Identities, and Politics
David Valentine, Sarah Lawrence College, Spring 2004

When Worlds Collide: Sexual Orientation and Public Policy
Pat Langley, University of Illinois, Springfield, Fall 2006

social suffering

Social Suffering: An Introduction to Medical Anthropology
Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University, Fall 2003

vector-borne disease

Anthropology and International Health A (first 14 themes of year-long course)
Dr. Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Fall 2003

women's health

Family Planning (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Gender and Health: Feminist Ethnographies (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Winter 2002

Intersectionality and Women's Health: Ethnographic Approaches to Race, Class, Gender, and "Difference" (word doc)
Marcia Inhorn, University of Michigan, Fall 2003

Race in the Bio-Medical Construction of "Woman"
Michelle Murphy, Cornell University, Fall 1998

RTIs, STDs, Cervical Cancer, Infertility (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

Women and Health (word doc)
Michelle Murphy, University of Toronto, Spring 2005

Women and Health Care in the U.S.
Saskia Karen Subramanian, Ph.D., UCLA, Winter 2000

Women's Health and Safe Motherhood, Maternal Mortality, Abortion (word doc) from Anthropology and International Health
Mark Nichter, University of Arizona, Spring 2002

 

Also: See Bobbaq Afshar's collection of medical anthropology syllabi