AS.145.101.  Death and Dying in Art, Literature, and Philosophy: Introduction to Medical Humanities.  3 Credits.  

In this course, four essential aspects of the theme of death and dying will be examined: Death and Medicine; Emotional Responses to Death; Burying and Commemorating the Dead; and Conceptions of Death. Specific topics relating to each of these aspects that will be covered include illness and causes of death; prevention of death; suicide; death and grief; burial practices; mourning the dead; public commemoration of the dead; life after death; and death and rebirth. Students will explore these topics from a historical-anthropological perspective with Paul Delnero, a specialist in the history and culture of the ancient Near East (Near Eastern Studies); from a literary perspective, by reading and writing poetry relating to these subjects with the acclaimed poet James Arthur (Writing Seminars); and from a musical perspective, through direct encounters with the music and creative process of the award-winning composer, Michael Hersch (Peabody).

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.145.102.  The Cosmic Imagination: How Literature Changes Our Understanding of the Universe.  3 Credits.  

Since time immemorial humankind has looked to the skies for clues as to our origins, our destiny, and the nature of existence itself. In some ways, one of the hallmarks of western science has been a story of viewing the cosmos in ever-greater clarity and detail. Yet the very nature of the universe—its massive size, the distance and obscurity of its farthest reaches—requires the active intervention of our imaginations to picture it, no matter how powerful the technologies we use. In this course we will look at how western cultures from the middle ages to the present have deployed the literary and philosophical imagination to try to grasp the ungraspable, and how those attempts in some cases helped prepare intellectuals and scientists to make very real advances in understanding the universe.

Prerequisite(s): Students may not take and receive credit for AS.145.102 and AS.211.102.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Writing Intensive

AS.145.103.  Men, Women, and Melancholy: Premodern Physiologies of Madness.  3 Credits.  

Definitions of madness change over time. From Antiquity through the Early Modern period, Melancholia was the predominant form of mental illness, thought to be caused by an imbalance in the bodily humors, resulting in an excess of black bile. The disturbed physiology adversely affected the imagination, which, with memory and intellect, was one of the three functions of the soul. Only gradually did imagination come to be identified with deliberate creativity: from about 1400 to 1800, there were two stereotypical victims of melancholia: male intellectuals and female witches. The disruption of society by witch-hunting was even more radical than the rise of the "man of genius." At stake were definitions of psychology ("science of the soul") and reality (whether witches and demons interacted "in the body" or only "in the imagination"). Readings from Plato to Freud.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.145.104.  Science, Medicine, Media.  3 Credits.  

Much of our understanding of science and medicine is filtered through what we casually refer to as “the media”: newspapers, magazines, television shows, films, and electronic social media. But the scientific world relies on its own media to produce and circulate knowledge: from scientific journals and conferences, to agar plates and petri dishes, cloud chambers and electrophoresis gels. Medical technologies from the stethoscope to the echocardiogram likewise mediate the perception of the body in health and disease, and increasingly our own understanding and perception of our bodies and our health is mediated via screens, scans, images — without which we cannot “imagine” our selves anymore. Students will learn several tools to critically assess the technologies that mediate our knowledge of our own bodies and the broader world.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Writing Intensive

AS.145.105.  Freshman Seminar.  3 Credits.  

Freshman Seminar Course. Topics will vary semesterly. See class search for information for the current term.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.145.110.  Exploring Medical Careers.  1 Credit.  

Many people are unaware of the diversity of medical and health careers. This program introduces scientific knowledge and promotes awareness of a variety of medical and health careers, for example, multiple specialties of physicians, physician assistant, nurse careers, professional therapists (physical, occupational, respiratory, radiation), clinical nutritionist, pharmacist, genetic counselor, medical laboratory scientist, veterinarian, clinical trial professionals, clinical social worker, and public health related careers. Taught by diverse healthcare professionals currently working at Johns Hopkins Hospital System, students will gain meaningful scientific knowledge and practical career knowledge by participating in lectures, labs, hands-on/simulation activities, interviews, and workshops.

Area: Natural Sciences

AS.145.117.  Freshman Seminar: Heart Matters.  3 Credits.  

To the human imagination, the heart is more than a muscle and thumping pump keeping us alive. From the Renaissance to the present, writers have helped us make sense of our bodies, in health and in illness or pain. Our aim will be to trace the historical, cultural and subjective meanings our minds have given to this “sublime engine.” Our materials will involve a constellation of attentive readings of a literature involving poems, modern fiction as well as recent scientific prose.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.145.201.  Clues: Unreasoning the Medical Mystery.  3 Credits.  

Pioneering authors of detective fiction, including Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Pauline Hopkins, often used medical doctors and themes in their mystery plots. It's no coincidence that medicine and crime fiction share a vocabulary of clues, evidence, and diagnosis. The mystery genre was integrally tied to the rise of scientific medicine as a respected profession. Indeed, classic detective stories are practically propaganda for the scientific method, showing readers how the powerful tools of observation and inference can solve any problem. Over the course of the 20th century, not only doctors, but also psychologists, social scientists and historians adopted the authoritative stance of the detective in constructing or reconstructing facts. However, as we study Sherlock Holmes and his modern proteges, such as TV doctor Gregory House, we will analyze how "medical mystery" narratives can limit our thinking about problems and solutions in medicine. We will consider post-modern detective stories that offer alternatives to the "Holmsian" model for understanding the complex clinical realities of today.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Writing Intensive

AS.145.215.  Representations of Pain and Suffering in Contemporary Culture.  3 Credits.  

What does it mean to experience pain or encounter the suffering of another person in our post-truth era? This course explores the changing representation of pain and suffering in contemporary film, fiction, creative non-fiction, science and technology. Through analysesand close-readings of a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will consider the different ways twentieth- and twenty-first-century historical, cultural, and media representations have mediated pain and suffering. Such investigations allow us to understand the workings of pain in the present.

Area: Humanities

Writing Intensive

AS.145.217.  Neurofictions: History and Literature of the Mind Sciences.  3 Credits.  

Neuroscience has a long way to go from mapping neural connections to a precise account of memory, emotion, and consciousness. But the limits of science have never stopped us from imagining its possible futures. Engaging two centuries of debate in the mind sciences and in western culture at large, this course looks at historical attempts to explain and control human consciousness. By placing each period's scientific texts in dialog with contemporaneous science fiction -- from Edgar Allan Poe to Ursula K. Le Guin -- we discover how theories about the brain can shape society while at the same time responding to social contexts.

Area: Humanities

AS.145.301.  Naturalizing the Human Body in Early Modern France: the Confrontation of Literature, Science and Politics.  3 Credits.  

Literature in early modern Europe was essential to the naturalizing of the human body, a partner in the reshaping of the cultures and disciplines around it. This course looks at several shifts within major literary works of the 17th and 18th centuries, a time of great intellectual upheaval, a moment when the interpenetration of the literary, scientific and political cultures was such that “art for art’s sake” would have been considered irresponsible. The primary goals of the course are to allow students to understand the intrinsic literary value of the texts, but equally to show how that literary activity, both of writing and of reading, was the vehicle for the elaboration of the modern mind set. We will focus on three cases: vision, the body’s “economy” and Body of the State, and the “scandal” of smallpox vaccination. Texts will include, for example, extracts from: Newton’s Opticks, Cyrano de Bergerac’s The States and Empires of the Sun, Montesquieu’s Persian Letters and Spirit of the Laws, Voltaire’s English Letters, Rousseau’s The New Eloise, Laclos’ Dangerous Liaisons, Guillotine’s text inventing the guillotine. For more information, please see the full course description at http://www.wilda.org/Courses/CourseVault/Undergrad/Naturalizing/Description.html. This course and texts will be in English, but readings will also be available in French.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Writing Intensive

AS.145.401.  In Search of the Human: Ways of Remembering.  3 Credits.  

Studying narrative as a way of understanding the complex emotions associated with illness and the lifecycle has long been recognized as an important part of clinical training. This course focuses on autobiographical memory as a particularly important part of forming a personal narrative. These memories can offer foundations on which to build an approach to life and its challenges, and they can also be constraining. The course readings will illustrate how authors of fiction and scientists have grappled with the task of remembering and studied the configurations of autobiographical recollection.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Writing Intensive

AS.145.502.  Medicine, Science & the Humanities Internship.  3 Credits.  

An internship in Medicine, Science & the Humanities approved by the director of the program.

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

AS.145.510.  Medicine, Science & the Humanities Independent Research.  1 - 3 Credits.  

This course is for students in the Medicine, Science & the Humanities doing independent research. Course can be taken up to 3 credits with approval from the director.

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Writing Intensive

AS.145.511.  Medicine, Science & the Humanities Independent Research.  1 - 3 Credits.  

This class is for the MSH majors completing their research project. Instructor approval required.

Prerequisite(s): You must request Independent Academic Work using the Independent Academic Work form found in Student Self-Service: Registration > Online Forms.

Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences

AS.145.512.  Medicine, Science and the Humanities Independent Research.  1 - 3 Credits.  

This course is for students in the Medicine, Science & the Humanities doing independent research. Course can be taken up to 3 credits with approval from the director.