Faculty of Arts


Reading Medical Ethnography


This course involves a close and critical reading and class discussion of recent ethnographic monographs in medical ethnography, together with supplementary reading on theory, ethics, methodology and ethnographic writing.

Four or five full-length books form the core reading for this course. In addition, we may read some articles that reflect on both practical and theoretical aspects of medical anthropology to provide a context for our later discussions.

The books have been selected to speak to a common theme, as well as to represent recent approaches in medical ethnography, and reflect a variety of locations and health issues. This year, the theme that runs through all of these works is morality and ethics. Throughout the semester, we will be addressing “what is ethical and moral behaviour” in the realms of medical practice, development projects and humanitarian outreach, as well as in the practice of anthropology? How do people define what is “moral,” how do their (and our) definitions and often assumptions of the moral and the ethical compel particular behaviours and outlooks on the world, and what happens when competing values rub up against one another??

Course objectives:

  • To advance students' understanding of the challenges of social anthropological research in health and illness by examining issues of theory, content, ethnography and practice by reading, discussing and writing about the work of leading practitioners in the field of medical anthropology
  • To promote critical thinking
  • To enhance oral and written skills

Availability 2022

Not taught in 2022


Lecturer(s) Dr Susanna Trnka


ANTHRO 732: 15.0 points

Contact details | Search | Accessibility | Copyright | Privacy | Disclaimer | 1