Medical Anthropology

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for ANTHRO 208.


Medical anthropology is a subfield of anthropology that draws most on social/cultural anthropology and biological anthropology to address issues of human health and disease. Included in the subfield are studies of cultural constructions of health and illness, medical knowledge and practices relating to health, illness and healing, the co-evolution of humans and diseases, provision of health services, health effects of development and globalisation, human ecology and the relationship between health, politics and economics. While not all of medical anthropology is applied, there is a strong emphasis in that direction.

This course introduces frameworks of understanding issues in health and illness which draw from various strands of social/cultural anthropology and biological anthropology. As you will realise by the end of the course, there is a large and growing literature in the dynamic field of medical anthropology. We have necessarily selected a limited number of topics and debates to pursue. However, if you have a particular interest, we encourage you to formulate this into an essay topic and examine it in greater depth.


Coursework and exam

View the course syllabus

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Dr Heather Battles




Coursework and exam


ANTHRO 208: 15 points


ANTHRO 100 or 102 or 60 points passed at Stage I