MIDEAST 201 - Madness, Medicine, and Magic in the Middle East
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

All humans experience physical and psychological suffering and seek help from a medical professional. This class examines how such experiences have played out in what is known today as the Middle East, beginning with ancient Babylonia, going through medieval Islamic societies, and ending with contemporary Middle Eastern ones.

The course provides a broad overview of the various medical traditions that have succeeded, interacted, intermingled, conflicted, or replaced one another in this area. We will investigate how in different periods of time mental and physical illness was theorized, diagnosed, and treated. For example, we will learn about cuneiform procedures that offer pharmaceutical recipes and ritual practices for expelling ghosts or “the hand of god(dess)” diseases; about medieval empirical treaties that sought physical symptoms for mental and emotional states; and about contemporary practices of jinn appeasement and exorcism, among many other topics.

For many of us, medicine is a science that provides an objective understanding of the working of the human body, universally valid irrespective of history and culture. This class has as one of its goals to push this view of medicine to its limits, to question its coherence, and show its cracks.

Course Requirements:

The course has a mixed lecture–discussion format. Students are encouraged to question, engage, and participate throughout the class. Evaluation will be based on a mixture of small assignments, examinations, or papers—students will have multiple options or pathways to choose from.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduates at any level that are interested in historical medical practices or theories

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly and one-hour discussion

MIDEAST 201 - Madness, Medicine, and Magic in the Middle East
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
31136
Open
6
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (DIS)
P
31283
Open
1
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
P
31284
Open
5
 
-
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
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