Interdisciplinary Minor in Medicine, Literature, and Culture

Honors Carolina’s first interdisciplinary minor has been developed in collaboration with the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Social Medicine in the UNC School of Medicine, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.  Courses in the minor encourage students to examine medicine not only as a scientific enterprise, but also as a cultural practice embedded in changing ideas about disease, the doctor-patient relationship, medical institutions, and medical ethics.

The target audience includes undergraduates majoring in disciplines as varied as the physical and life sciences, the humanities and fine arts, and the social and behavioral sciences.  In the near future, Honors Carolina and its campus partners will launch a B.S.-M.A. program in which advanced students will complete a Bachelor of Science degree in three years, followed by a one-year Master’s degree in Medicine, Literature, and Culture.

Courses and Requirements

The new honors interdisciplinary minor is available to students accepted into Honors Carolina and to any undergraduate who has achieved and maintains a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Requirements for the minor include five courses representing at least three different disciplines.  English 268H Medicine, Literature, and Culture is required as a gateway course for all students.  Options for additional courses include, but are not limited to, the following:

ENGL 266 Science and Literature

ENGL 390 Studies in Literary Topics: Representing Medicine

ENGL 489 Cultural Studies—Contemporary Issues: Literature, Medicine, and Disability

CMPL 383 Literature and Medicine

ANTH 444 Medicine, Politics, and Justice

ANTH 470 Medicine and Anthropology

ANTH 473 Anthropology of the Body and the Subject

JOMC 560 Medical Journalism

HNRS 650 Topics in Medicine and the Humanities

Honors Carolina is actively investing in the development of additional courses from departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Public Health.

Spring 2016 offerings

The following courses offered in the Spring 2016 semester have been approved to fulfill requirements for the MLC minor:

  • ANTH 147, Comparative Healing Systems
  • ANTH 319, Global Health
  • ANTH 442, Health and Gender After Socialism
  • ANTH 470, Medicine and Anthropology
  • ANTH 474, Anthropology of Disability
  • ENGL 269, Introduction to Disability Studies
  • ENGL 611, Narrative, Literature, and Medicine
  • HIST 329H, An Introduction to the History of Medicine
  • PLCY 361, Health Policy and Politics
  • PLCY 565, Global Health Policy

Professional School and Career Opportunities

The new honors interdisciplinary minor will help prepare students for a variety of careers in medicine and health care, health policy, and social services.  The minor will also be a value for students planning postgraduate studies in traditional humanities fields, such as literature and history.

Health care professionals and educators have demonstrated growing interest in the cultural and social dimensions of medical practices.  Indeed, the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is currently being revised to include new sections on the humanities and social sciences.  The honors interdisciplinary minor in medicine, literature, and culture puts Carolina a step ahead in preparing students for this important change, and for successful careers as practitioners, policy makers, and researchers.