University of Pennsylvania hsoc 002/stsc 002/hist 036 Fall 2006 Medicine in History

Download 60.33 Kb.
Size60.33 Kb.

University of Pennsylvania

HSOC 002/STSC 002/HIST 036

Fall 2006

Medicine in History

TTh 10:30-11:50

Teaching Assistants:

402 Logan Hall

Merlin Chowkwanyun


David S. Barnes

Office Hours: M 4-5, Th 1-2 and by appt.

(215) 898-8210

Mark’s Café, Van Pelt Library

Meggie Crnic

Office Hours: MW 9:30-11, T 4-5

and by appt.

Office Hours: M 1:30-3:30 and by appt.

323 Logan Hall

Logan Hall 3d floor lounge

Course Description:

This course surveys the history of medical knowledge and practice from antiquity to the present. No prior background in the history of science or medicine is required. The course has two principal goals: (1) to give students a practical introduction to the fundamental questions and methods of the history of medicine, and (2) to foster a nuanced, critical understanding of medicine’s complex role in contemporary society.
The course takes a broadly chronological approach, blending the perspectives of the patient, the physician, and society as a whole—recognizing that medicine has always aspired to “treat” healthy people as well as the sick and infirm. Rather than history "from the top down" or "from the bottom up," this course sets its sights on history from the inside out. This means, first, that medical knowledge and practice is understood through the personal experiences of patients and caregivers. It also means that lectures and discussions will take the long-discredited knowledge and treatments of the past seriously, on their own terms, rather than judging them by today’s standards. Required readings consist largely of primary sources, from elite medical texts to patient diaries. Short research assignments will encourage students to adopt the perspectives of a range of actors in various historical eras.


  • attendance at and active participation in all class meetings;

  • completion of all assigned readings by the due date indicated on the syllabus;

  • one in-class midterm exam;

  • three short research and writing assignments (4-6 pages each);

  • final exam.

Books and Coursepack

Three books are available for purchase at the Penn Book Center,130 South 34th Street:
David Rothman, Steven Marcus, and Stephanie Kiceluk, eds., Medicine and Western Civilization

John Harley Warner and Janet Tighe, eds., Major Problems in the History of American Medicine and Public Health

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale
Note: All required books owned by the Penn library will be on reserve at Rosengarten Reserve Service in Van Pelt Library. You are not required to buy any book, and you can certainly find these books elsewhere. If you choose to buy one or more books, please consider supporting the vital service that independent bookstores provide by buying them at the Penn Book Center. Finally, several recommended (not required) books may be available under this course number at the Penn Book Center. Make your purchasing decisions carefully.
A coursepack consisting of assigned readings is available at Campus Copy, 3907 Walnut Street. Other course materials and additional resources are also available on a Blackboard site <>.
Grading Percentages:
Attendance + Participation: 30%

Writing Assignments (10% each) 30%

Midterm Exam: 15%

Final Exam: 25%

Consistent effort and improvement will be weighted in final grading.
A general overview of grading standards:
A = outstanding, nearly flawless work; assignment(s) completed thoroughly; technically excellent; evidence of creativity and/or inspiration, deep contextual grasp of issues and connections among issues; and ability to synthesize individual elements into broader historical analysis.
B = good work; all aspects of assignment(s) completed thoroughly and competently; technically competent (though perhaps not perfect) in spelling, grammar, format, citations; presentation adequate; does not consistently show inspiration, creativity, deeper grasp of connections, interpretations, and/or synthesis among elements.
C = less than fully satisfactory work; assignment(s) not completed thoroughly or according to instructions; basic grasp of issues not always evident; more than occasional technical flaws.
D = basic work of course (or assignment) not done, little or no effort evident.
Academic Integrity
Academic dishonesty is one of the most serious offenses a student can commit. The College takes it extremely seriously, and so do this course's instructor and TAs. The College’s policy reads (in part) as follows:
Academic integrity is the core value of a university. It is only through the honest production and criticism of scholarship that we become educated and create knowledge. Admission to Penn signifies your entry into this community of scholars and your willingness to abide by our commonly agreed upon rules for the creation of knowledge.
Specifically, as members of this community, we are all expected to be honest about the nature of our academic work. Papers, examinations, oral reports, the results of laboratory experiments, and other academic assignments must be the product of individual endeavor, except when an instructor has specifically approved collaborative efforts. Multiple submissions of the same paper, except with the expressed approval of both instructors, are also unethical and a violation of academic integrity.
Academic work represents not only what we have learned about a subject but also how we have learned it. Therefore it is unethical and a violation of academic integrity to copy from the work of others or submit their work as one's own; all sources, including the sources of ideas, must be acknowledged and cited in ways appropriate to one's discipline. Electronic sources, such as found in the Internet or on the World Wide Web, must also be cited. These are the methods of scholars, adopted so that others may trace our footsteps, verify what we have learned, and build upon our work, and all members of the academic community are expected to meet these obligations of scholarship. There are many publications, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (which has been placed in Rosengarten Reserve by the Honor Council), that provide information about methods of proper citation. When in doubt, cite. Failure to acknowledge sources is plagiarism, regardless of intention.

Schedule of Topics and Assigned Readings

[lecture topics subject to change]

M&WC = Medicine and Western Civilization

Major Problems = Major Problems in the History of American Medicine and Public Health


Reading Assignment

Sept. 6

Introduction and Overview

Sept. 11

Prehistory and the Cult of Asclepius

  • John Colapinto, “Bloodsuckers” (coursepack)

Sept. 13

Airs, Waters, Places, and Oaths

  • “Hippocrates,” Diseases IV (coursepack)

Sept. 18

Chinese Medicine
Then and Now

  • Nathan Sivin, ed., “Three Readings on Chinese Medicine” (coursepack)

Sept. 20

Galen: The Sense of Humors

  • Kuriyama, "Interpreting the History of Bloodletting" (coursepack)

Sept. 25

Avicenna and the Islamic Tradition

  • Ali ibn Ridwan, On the Prevention of Bodily Ills in Egypt, chapters 8-11

  • Avicenna, Canon of Medicine, chapters 1-4

Sept. 27

Medieval Medicine

  • Hildegard of Bingen, Cause and Cure: “Elements and Humors,” “Disorders and Diseases,” “Treatment,” and “Diagnostic and Prognostic Signs”

  • Victoria Sweet, “Hildegard of Bingen and the Greening of Medieval Medicine”

Mon. Oct. 1

"Symptom Diary" due

Oct. 2

“The Fabric of the Human Body”

  • Andreas Vesalius, “The Fabric of the Human Body” (M&WC, 54-60)

  • “Andreas Vesalius’s First Public Anatomy at Bologna: An Eyewitness Report” (M&WC, 61-65)

  • "Felix Platter's Journal" (M&WC, 66-67)

Oct. 4

More Bad News for Galen

  • William Harvey, “On the Motion of the Heart and the Blood” (M&WC, 68-78)

  • Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale, pp. 102-133, 235-261

Monday Oct. 8

Humoral Self-Diagnosis and Treatment Paper due

Oct. 9

Penn, the Medical Mecca of the Early Republic

  • Barbara Duden, “The Perception of the Body” (coursepack)

  • Pilloud and Louis-Courvoisier, "The Intimate Experience of the Body in the 18th Century" (coursepack)

  • Benjamin Rush, “The Vices and Virtues of Physicians” (M&WC, 278-81)

  • Benjamin Rush lecture to Penn medical students (Major Problems, 60-63)

Oct. 11

Inoculation and Vaccination

  • Cotton Mather on smallpox inoculation (Major Problems, 30-33)

  • William Douglass on smallpox inoculation (Major Problems, 33-34)

  • Zabdiel Boylston on smallpox inoculation (Major Problems, 36-37)

  • Edward Jenner, “An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, or Cow-Pox” (M&WC, 299-309)

  • Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale, pp. 3-71

Oct. 16

No Class (Fall Break)

Oct. 18

Pathological Anatomy to Clinical Medicine:
Meet Me in Paris

  • R.T.H. Laënnec, “A Treatise on Mediate Auscultation” (M&WC, 310-13)

  • N.Y. medical student’s diary (Major Problems, 93-94)

Oct. 23

Sectarianism and the Medical Marketplace

  • S. Carolina medical apprentice’s diary (Major Problems, 63-64)

  • Ohio physician’s struggles to establish his career (Major Problems, 70-71)

  • Samuel Thomson on medical monopoly (Major Problems, 71-73)

  • County medical society against quackery (Major Problems, 127-29)

  • Mary Gove Nichols on water cure movement (Major Problems, 129-31)

  • Western practitioners on water cure (Major Problems, 135-36)

Oct. 25

Midterm Exam
(in class)

Oct. 30

Should Women Go to Medical School?

  • Samuel Cartwright, “Diseases and Physical Particularities of the Negro Race” (Major Problems, 103-06)

  • Montagu Cobb on racial biology (Major Problems, 366-68)

  • Elizabeth Blackwell, “The Influence of Women in the Profession of Medicine” (M&WC, 282-87)

  • N.Y. doctor against medical education for women (Major Problems, 131-33)

  • John Ware on medical education (Major Problems, 133-35)

  • Edward H. Clarke against education of women (Major Problems, 140-43)

Nov. 1

Nursing and Midwifery in the 19th Century

  • Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale, pp. 309-352

  • Louisa May Alcott on her experiences as a nurse with the Union army (Major Problems, 173-76)

  • Florence Nightingale, “Notes on Hospitals” (M&WC, 360-64)

Nov. 6

Anesthesia, Antisepsis, and Surgery

  • Frances Burney, “A Mastectomy” (M&WC, 383-89)

  • Yale medical student against anesthesia (Major Problems, 101-103)

  • James Young Simpson, “Answer to the Religious Objections Advanced against the Employment of Anesthetic Agents” (M&WC, 398-401)

Nov. 8

The Invention of Germs

  • Ignaz Semmelweis, “The Etiology, Concept, and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever” (M&WC, 40-46)

  • Joseph Lister, “On the Antiseptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery” (M&WC, 247-52)

Monday Nov. 12

Patients’ Pathways” assignment due

Nov. 13

Bacteriology and the “New Public Health”

  • Robert Koch, “On The Etiology of Tuberculosis” (M&WC, 319-29)

  • N.Y. newspaper raises funds for new diphtheria treatment (Major Problems, 213-16)

Nov. 15

Forensic Medicine

  • Clarence Blake on specialization in medicine (Major Problems, 201-05)

Nov. 20

The Flexner Report and
the Reform Impulse in American Medicine

  • Abraham Flexner on medical education (Major Problems, 277-83)

  • Rockefeller Foundation on medical education and rural medicine (Major Problems, 292)

Nov. 22

No Class (Thanksgiving)

Nov. 27

War on Cancer

  • Boston Women’s Health Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves, “Preface” and “Our Changing Sense of Self” (coursepack)

  • Robert Aronowitz, “Lyme Disease: The Social Construction of a New Disease and Its Social Consequences” (coursepack)

Nov. 29

Technology in 20th-Century Medicine

  • Charles L. Leonard on x-rays (Major Problems, 351-52)

  • Medical journal editorial on precautionary x-rays (Major Problems, 352-54)

  • advertisement for “Pulmotor” (Major Problems, 361-62)

  • Francis Peabody on faith in laboratory medicine (Major Problems, 362-66)

Monday Dec. 3

"Golden Age of American Medicine" assignment due

Dec. 4

Managed Care, Big Pharma, and Profit-Driven Medicine

  • Anne-Emmanuelle Birn et al., “Struggles for National Health Reform in the United States” (coursepack)

  • Malcolm Gladwell, "The Moral Hazard Myth" (coursepack)

Dec. 6

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

  • Laurie Abraham, “The Cost of Dying” (coursepack)

  • Laura Hillenbrand, “A Sudden Illness” (coursepack)


Final Exam Period

Directory: ~dbarnes

Download 60.33 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page