AMCULT 284 - Sickness and Health in Society: 1492 to the Present
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
First-year students must obtain permission of the instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Medical history includes more than the history of doctors and their discoveries. It includes the history of sickness and health as well. From devastating infectious epidemics to the quiet suffering of malnutrition, health problems have both affected and reflected the evolution of modern society. This course will study four different historical periods, exploring issues such as:

  • the effects of living and working conditions, individual actions, and medical care on public health;
  • the role of ethics, economics, and politics in medical decision making;
  • the changing health problems of specific social groups, including Native Americans, African Americans, women, immigrants, and workers;
  • the changing meanings of concepts like "health" and "disease";
  • the spread and effects of medical innovations; and
  • the changing organization and power of the healing professions.

We will focus on American history, but with significant attention to international and global connections and contrasts.

Reading assignments will range from modern histories to poetry and old medical journals. This is a challenging and demanding course.

Course Requirements:

There will be two essay-style examinations, and frequent short quizzes.

Intended Audience:

The course is a basic introduction, however, first-year students must obtain permission of the professor to enroll.

Class Format:

Classes are taught in lecture format with discussion sections, and will include a variety of audio-visual sources.

AMCULT 284 - Sickness and Health in Society: 1492 to the Present
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (DIS)
Th 11:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (DIS)
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
004 (DIS)
Th 12:00PM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
Dollar Bill
Part One is required purchase. Part Two is also required reading, but copies will be available on reserve.
ISBN: 0395954355
Major problems in the history of American medicine and public health : documents and essays, Author: ed. by John Harley Warner ...., Publisher: Houghton Mifflin 2001
ISBN: 0156002620
Microbe hunters, Author: Paul De Kruif ; introduction by F. Gonzalez-Crussi., Publisher: Harcourt, Brace 1926
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 029915324X
Sickness and health in America : readings in the history of medicine and public health, Author: edited by Judith Walzer Leavitt and Ronald L. Numbers., Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press 3rd ed. 1997
ISBN: 9780807848906
Sympathy & science : women physicians in American medicine, Author: Morantz-Sanchez, Regina Markell., Publisher: University of North Carolina Press 2000
ISBN: 0275980928
The Columbian exchange biological and cultural consequences of 1492, Author: Alfred W. Crosby, Jr. ; forewords by J.R. McNeill and Otto von Mering., Publisher: Praeger 30th anniv 2003
ISBN: 0226726770
The cholera years : the United States in 1832, 1849, and 1866, Author: Charles E. Rosenberg ; with a new afterword., Publisher: University of Chicago Press 2. [Dr.] 1987
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for AMCULT 284 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)