Global Health

Fall 2023 Course Offerings

Core Electives:

HIST 305: Medicine, Empire, and Global Health (CS)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash
TR 1:05-2:25, CSB

Contemporary global health inequalities and organizations are not new, but rather have their roots in colonial medicine and development programs from the 19th and 20th centuries. In this course, we will look at the connections between imperial power dynamics, the history of medicine, and global health structures in Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. We will examine both how science and medicine were used as “tools of empire” during the course of European and American imperial conquest, as well as how subject populations resisted, co-opted, and transformed Western medical knowledge. We will pay special attention to how constructions of gender, race, and ethnicity intersected in cross-cultural medical encounters, informing clinical practice and shaping public health policies. Some topics will include: the relationship between colonial medical interventions and the spread of epidemics, how imperial health policies created and sustained structures of inequality, and the ways in which understandings of race, gender, and difference have affected health initiatives across borders. This course is suitable for students in any major. 

PCST 368: The Medical Professional in the Age of Global Health
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson
W 6:15-9:15, SJU

The word “professional” today connotes an individual with well-developed skills, specialized knowledge, and expertise, who conforms to the standards of a profession. The original meaning of “professional” as one who “makes a profession of faith” in the face of demanding circumstances has been all but lost in the medical profession. This class will use the burgeoning literature of medicine, written by, for, and about medical professionals, in order to explore the full range of “professional” challenges facing today’s medical professionals. By exploring the efforts of medical professionals to counter the institutional forces that constrain them and to find their own solid ground to stand upon, this course aims to cultivate the habit of moral reflection in future medical professionals. Although this course will primarily focus on health care professionals, it should also be of interest to those aspiring to other non-medical careers and all who desire better health care for themselves and others. This course incorporates a preceptor-led discussion of short videos of actual medical encounters where returning alums in the medical field visit the class either in-person or virtually to lead discussions and share their insights.

Perspective Electives:

HIST 180: Sex, Race, and Medicine (CI)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash
TR 9:55-11:15, CSB

This course covers the past and present of Western medicine, paying special attention to ways in which ideas of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity intersect to shape medical practice and the identities of patients and doctors alike. Topics include the role of gender dynamics in the shift from midwifery to obstetrics; racial and ethnic disparities during epidemics; disproportionate health outcomes in Black and Indigenous communities; and debates surrounding LGBTQ+ health care.  

COMM 352: Health Communication (SW, Truth Encounter)
Dr. Jennifer Kramer
TR 11:10-12:30 SJU

Provides students with a broad introduction to the study and application of health communication theories, principles, and practices. Examines how narratives, media, interpersonal communication, group communication, intercultural communication, gender communication, organizational communication and promotional campaigns function within health contexts. The relevance of communication to health is examined as a means for improving communication in the health care setting, improving personal health, and influencing public health.

ENGL 206: Creative Writing: Clinical Encounters I (AE, EX, SLR)
Dr. Christopher Bolin
TR 11:10-12:30 SJU

English 206 is a creative writing course for pre-health science majors. Students participate in a sustained clinical experience, delivering creative writing sessions to a clinical population, while developing their own writing lives. This course helps students increase their capacity for working with ambiguity (moral, creative and narrative), while helping them see “patients” as people who are not defined by their diseases. Additionally, this course helps future clinicians learn to communicate with precise imagery and metaphors, while revealing connections between the practice of medicine and the arts of poetry and fiction.

NRSG 303: Clinical Nursing IV (CS, nursing students only)
Mary Zelenak
MTWRF 8:00-12:00 and MWF 2:00-4:00

In the context of integrating levels of prevention across the lifespan, individuals, families and populations to affect change in the community. This course will provide clinical experiences for application of concepts taught in all concurrent and previous courses. Prerequisites: NRSG 220B, 302, 315 & 342.

NUTR 323: Public Health Nutrition (SW, Justice Encounter)
Dr. Linda Shepherd
11:30-12:50 CSB

Study of nutrition and human growth and development including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence, adulthood, and aging. Physiological, psychological, and chronic degenerative conditions associated with aging and related nutritional implications are examined. An epidemiological approach is utilized to examine relationships between diet, disease, and health status; implications for public health policy; and existing federal, state, and community programs. Course offered for A-F grading only. Prerequisite: NUTR 125.

SOCI 378A: Transnational Anthropology (SW, Movement Focus)
Dr. Ellen Block
TR 9:35-10:55 SJU

Cultures and cultural groups have never been bounded to a single location – people have always been in movement, learning from people outside their cultural groups, and hybridizing ideas and ways of life. This course uses cultural anthropology theory and method to study transnational cultural groups that are present in contemporary Minnesota. In particular, we will study ethnographic manuscripts about Hmong, Somali, and Mexican people and topics including ethnicity, migration, refugeeism, tourism, nomadism, political economy, and medical anthropology. Students will be conducting original ethnographic research in a semester-long project that analyzes a particular transnational cultural case study.

Additional Course:

INTG 100 15A: A “Novel” Approach to Global Health (LF)
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson
TR 11:10-12:30, SJU

If you haven’t yet taken a Learning Foundations course, this section focuses on global health topics.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Ellen Block, Ph.D.
Sociology Department
SJU Simons Hall 118