- Code CHMD8021
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Culture, Health and Medicine
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Development Studies, Health, Medicine and the Body, Public Health
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Offered in See Future Offerings
This course introduces cross-cultural comparative perspectives on indigenous medicines, healing and health in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Contemporary condition of indigenous medicines and healing practices in Australia, Hawaii, Africa, India, and Southeast Asian nations, for example, are intertwined with the history of European colonial racial and gendered objectification of “native” bodies, their medicines and healing approaches. We will examine the relationship between medicine as a tool of empire and how indigenous medicines, healthcare practices, and health have been constructed, regulated, and transformed by colonial and post-colonial science, medicine, and social policies. We will also explore how indigenous conceptions of the body, health, and approaches to care persist as distinctive from contemporary biomedical paradigm. We will explore the effects of this distinction on indigenous medicines, healing practices, and health—that today is also manifest in clinical settings worldwide as a cultural tension between the biomedical doctor and the indigenous patient. Part 1 of the course will focus on the relationship between colonial medicine and indigenous medicines. Part 2 will focus on indigenous forms of medicines and conception of health and healing. Part 3 will focus on the contemporary forms of indigenous medicines and the health of indigenous people in light of the re-emergence of molecular biology, genetic science and the rise of cultural competency paradigm in biomedicine. In the process, students will gain a historical understanding of key concepts associated with the construction of indigenous medicines such as ethnomedicine, traditional, alternative, and medical pluralism vis-à-vis the idea of what is modern and the formation of modernity.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Effectively apply a critical anthropological perspective to the cross-cultural and comparative study of indigenous medicines, health, and healing.
2. Examine and understand the place of colonial policies, colonial medicines, and post-colonial development in present conditions of indigenous medicines, health, and healing practices.
3. Critically analyze how and why indigenous conceptions of the body, health, and approaches to care persist as distinctive from contemporary biomedical paradigm.
4. Examine and discuss the relationship between historical and contemporary forms of indigenous medicines and the re-emergence of molecular biology, genetic science and the cultural competency paradigm in biomedicine.
5. Effectively apply critical thinking and writing and debate issues of social policies pertaining to indigenous health and medicines.
Indicative AssessmentWriting Critical Reflections/Participation (6x400 words) 30% [LO 1, 5]
Research Project (Total 70%) made up from:
- Research Paper (3600 words) 45% [LO 2, 3, 4]
- Conference Style Presentation of paper /e.g. Powerpoint summary (10 min.) 25% [LO 2,3,4,5]
In response to COVID-19, ANU has changed the mode of delivery for all classes in Semester 1 2020 to remote delivery.
Semester 1 Class Summary information (available under the Classes tab) on this publication is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available via Wattle and students should have been advised by the offering College. Find out more information on the University's response to COVID-19 here.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 22 hours of lectures and 14 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing
David Arnold. 1988. Imperial Medicine and Indigenous Societies. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Maitrii Aung-Thwin. 2010. Healing, Rebellion, and the Law. Ethnologies of Medicine in Colonial Burma, 1928-1932. The Journal of Burma Studies. 14:151-186.
John Comaroff and Jean Comaroff. 1992 Medicine, Colonialism, and the Black Body. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination. Westview Press. pp. 215-234.
Byron J. Good. 1994. Medical Anthropology and the Problem of Belief. In Medicine, Rationality, and Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-13.
Clarence Gravlee. 2009. How race becomes biology: embodiment of social inequality. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 139(1), 47-57.
Charles Leslie, ed. 1980. Medical Pluralism in World Perspective. Special Issue on “Medical Pluralism.” Social Science and Medicine 14B (4):190-196.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3654||22 Feb 2021||01 Mar 2021||31 Mar 2021||28 May 2021||In Person||N/A|