Summer 2021 Class Schedule
GBL_HLTH 307: International Perspectives on Mental Health
This course will explore issues of mental health in cross-cultural, international perspective and examine the impact of psychological illness on the global burden of disease. Students explore the following questions: how do cultural systems of meaning and behavior affect the vulnerability of individuals within the population to mental illness and the mental illnesses to which they are vulnerable? How does culture influence the way that mental illness is expressed and experienced and how does this affect our ability to measure psychological illness cross-culturally? How do cultural factors affect the way that mental illnesses are diagnosed and labeled, and the degree to which they are stigmatized? And how do such factors affect our ability to create effective public health interventions? Finally, how do healing practices and the efficacy of particular treatments vary across cultures? By examining these and related questions, in the context of specific mental illnesses including schizophrenia, depression, and PTSD students are exposed to a unique set of ideas otherwise unrepresented in the current global health curriculum. Mental health is crucially linked to physical health, and represents an enormous global health burden in its own right. It is crucial, therefore, that global health students be introduced to central issues related to epidemiology and intervention in this area.
GBL_HLTH 390-0-1: Population and Reproductive HealthThis course will examine the ways in which population growth concerns in Africa, Asia and Latin America have evolved over time towards a more woman-centered approach. Debates continue between demographers and advocates of “sexual and reproductive health and rights.” In the meantime, family planning policies and programs have broadened from their original medical focus that prioritized quantitative measurement and the views of providers. Today, they can address quality of care from the client’s perspective, gender power dynamics including male involvement in decision-making, attention to both married and unmarried young people, and even efforts to increase the empowerment of women and girls. Students will learn about past and current challenges to advancing reproductive health in the global South, advances (and gaps) in knowledge about what works, and efforts towards reaching the United Nations goal of ensuring “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services” by the year 2030.
GBL_HLTH 390-0-2: Managing Global Health ChallengesDisease knows no borders. Both pathogens and lifestyles move around the world and the people of every country share the risks. The responsibility for ensuring the public health rests with governments at local, national and international levels. Public health interventions require cooperation and partnerships at each level and with civil society organizations, corporations, businesses and individuals. Advances in technology can significantly reduce the burden of disease and improve the quality of health and life. To effectively address global health challenges, technology must be integrated into health systems in ways that are both appropriate and sustainable. These interventions are affected by public policies, availability of resources and theories of public health and disease. Existing health organizations are increasingly challenged by the scope and magnitude of the current and future threats to public health such as the AIDS pandemic; the emergence of new and more virulent infectious diseases; the threats of bio-terrorism; growing resistance to antibiotics; lack of basic infrastructure of water, sanitation and inadequate access to drugs in developing countries; and overabundance of foods and complications from affluence, leading to health problems such as diabetes in higher income countries. This course will examine the global epidemiology of these diseases and threats to the populations of the world, and the current technological and organizational strategies that have been established to respond. A series of diseases and geographical regions will be analyzed to consider how the international community uses technology and organizes its response to current problems in global public health. Special attention will be given to examples of effective technologies and intervention strategies.
GBL_HLTH 390-0-3:Folk, Traditional, and Complementary Medicine in Public Health
This course will offer both public health and anthropological perspectives on the study of folk medicine, which is referred to as traditional, complementary, integrative, or alternative therapy or medicine. We will learn about types of healing and health in Africa, South Asia, the West Indies and other regions, the cultural meanings and notions of efficacy. The course will also cover work on revival of traditional healing in various settings, and the integration of non-biomedical therapies into health programs including in U.S. locations.
Course requirements include participation in twice-weekly online synchronous class meetings, readings, asynchronous lectures, weekly response papers and a final project. There are no exams.Back to top