Medical & Health Humanities
Explores interdisciplinary and cross-cultural themes of health, illness, and medicine through perspectives in history, literature, media, philosophy, and anthropology.
Race, Science, and Human Variation
Examines the origins and history of the race concept and the nature of human variation. Focuses on how science has influenced our understanding of broader social issues related to social constructs of race and biology, such as human intelligence, criminality, and health.
Narrative Medicine & Health In/Justice
U.S. healthcare is ridddled with inquities. This course will apply two frameworks (structural competency and narrative medicine) to identify the root causes of health inequities; listen to the stories of people marginalized by and resisting social injustices; and explore strategies for advancing health justice. Whether you're pursuing a career in medicine, policy, social serrvices, public health, journalism, or are engaged as a patient or caregiver, these frameworks will empower you to connect personal stories of illness with broader landscapes of health in/justice.
In this course, students will...
- Explore diverse perspectives on health and illness through short stories, poetry, visual art, radio, procasts, & more
- Engage creatively through creating art, writing, & sharing stories
- Mobilize for change through community engagement & artistic expression
Tues & Thurs 2:55pm-4:15pm
Instructor: Brianna (Cusanno) August-Rae
Literature, Ethics, and Values
“I occasionally get asked how a pre-med student can succeed in
Medicine; my answer is always the same—study the Humanities.”
- Dr. F. Thurston Drake
ENGL 3150 (CRN: 11913) is offered by Dr. Josh Reid.
This special spring-only course will explore medical issues through
literature, drawing from the fields of Narrative Medicine and Medical
Humanities. Students will learn how narrative is an essential clinical tool,
helping them be more empathetic toward the full patient experience,
as well as attentive to their own journeys as future medical
professionals. Texts will range from Kazuo Ishiguro’s science fiction
cautionary tale Never Let Me Go to Abraham Verghese’s memoir of
practicing medicine in Johnson City, My Own Country.
"Take it! It will teach you so much about healthcare,
relationships, life, and yourself."
- Former Health Professions Student
Dr. Melissa Schrift is a Professor of Anthropology at East Tennessee State University, Director of the Culture & Health Minor and the Pre-Health Academic Liaison for the College of Arts & Sciences. She has taught in the areas of Cultural and Medical anthropology for over 20 years. The Culture and Health minor offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of medicine and health with a focus on diversity and cultural competence. The minor has been one of the most robust at ETSU due to the focus on experiential learning and mentoring.
To read what some of Dr. Schrift's previous students have to say, check out our Student Reflections section below.