Race, Medicine, and Science

Fall 2019
Jennifer Singh
HTS 3088

The primary objective of this course is to study the interrelationship of race, medicine, and science drawing on various literatures such as history, sociology, and anthropology. The course rigorously examines the social, political, and cultural concept of race and its usefulness as an analytical category with a emphasis on American history. In line with the Quality Enhancement Program at Georgia Tech, the course is designed and will be instructed based on student community engagement with local non-profit organizations that serve social and medical needs related to sickle cell disease and/or HIV/AIDS. The students will volunteer with the Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS division and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia to provide structured opportunities to learn, develop, and reflect through active participation in thoughtful, organized community engagement. To put the discussion into perspective, the course will: 1. Examine the historical development of contemporary racial categories used in scientific medical research 2. Discuss the socio-historical context of the interrelationship of race, medicine, and science 3. Critically review the literature concerning debates of race, medicine, and science 4. Discuss how scientists and medical/health practitioners have described and interpreted perceived human differences 5. Examine how scientists constructed racial difference and how the existence of racial difference influenced the construction of medical knowledge. 6. Situate the topics in socio-historical context (e.g., human experimentation) 7. Examine how racial difference became medicalized

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