WGS 345 • Women in Sickness and Health-W
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
In this seminar students will explore the experience of American women, in sickness and in health. Students will learn about medical and biological views of woman and women's health, the social context of those views, the development of medical practices and, indeed, a new medical specialty, for the treatment of illness and debility. The course is structured around the female life cycle. After an introductory class that explores basic tenets of Western medicine from the 4th century BCE to the 19th century CE, the class begins with a consideration of menstruation and menarche, moves to medical issues regarding female sexuality, spends three weeks on the history of changing childbirth practices in different cultures, takes up the issue of female invalidism in the 19th century, studies changes and developments in birth control and abortion, and concludes with a study of the changing incidence and treatment of the reproductive system cancers.
As a writing component class, students will submit at least 3 essays, two of which students may revise after receiving comments. As a seminar class, students are expected to come to class having read each week's assignment and ready to discuss the issue at hand.