Interdisciplinary Minor in Medicine, Literature, and Culture

Honors Carolina interdisciplinary minor in Medicine, Literature, and Culture encourages 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 program was 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.

The Honors interdisciplinary minor is designed for students majoring in disciplines as varied as the physical and life sciences, the humanities and fine arts, and the social and behavioral sciences. For students interested in a deeper study of the medical humanities, the UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature offers a Science, Medicine & Literature (SML) undergraduate major concentration, as well as a BA/MA dual degree program in Literature, Medicine & Culture (LMC).

Courses and Requirements

The Honors interdisciplinary minor is available to Honors Carolina students (as well as undergraduates with a 3.0 GPA). Requirements for the minor include the successful completion of five courses in three different disciplines. English 268H: Medicine, Literature, and Culture is required as a gateway course for all students.

In lieu of ENGL 268H, students may substitute ENGL 71H (FYS: Doctors and Patients) or GEOG 52H (Political Ecology of Health and Disease). Consultation with the Honors Carolina office is required to ensure these courses are applied correctly to the minor.

Options for additional courses include:

  • AAAD 300, Cultures of Health and Healing in Africa
  • AAAD 387, HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Diaspora
  • ANTH 147, Comparative Healing Systems
  • ANTH 270, Living Medicine
  • ANTH 272 / ENGL 264, Healing in Ethnography & Literature
  • ANTH 319, Global Health
  • ANTH 442/WGST 440, Health and Gender after Socialism
  • ANTH/WGST 443, Cultures and Politics of Reproduction
  • ANTH 444: Medicine, Politics, and Justice
  • ANTH 448: Health and Medicine in the American South
  • ANTH/FOLK 470: Medicine and Anthropology
  • ANTH/FOLK 473: Anthropology of the Body and the Subject
  • ANTH 474, The Anthropology of Disability
  • CMPL 383: Literature and Medicine
  • ENGL 163: Intro to Health Humanities
  • ENGL 266: Science and Literature
  • ENGL 269, Introduction to Disability Studies
  • ENGL 370, Race, Health, and Narrative
  • ENGL 610, Practicum in Health Humanities
  • ENGL 611, Narrative, Literature, and Medicine: Advanced Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • GEOG 222, Health and Medical Geography
  • GLBL 483: Comparative Health Systems
  • HIST 329, An Introduction to the History of Medicine
  • HNRS 337: Narrative and Medicine
  • HNRS 362: NHS Scotland – Policies, Problems, and Innovative Solutions
  • HNRS 650 Topics in Medicine and the Humanities
  • MEJO 560: Environmental and Science Journalism
  • PHIL 165: Bioethics
  • PLCY 361: Health Policy in the United States
  • PLCY/HPM 565: Global Health Policy
  • PLCY 570: Health and Human Rights
  • RELI 220: Religion and Medicine
  • RELI 665/WGST 664: Body and Suffering in Christian Mysticism
  • SOCI 180: Intro to Global Population Health
  • SOCI 422: Sociology of Health and Mental Illness
  • SOCI 431: Aging
  • SOCI 469, Health & Society
  • WGST 330: Women’s Health Activism in 20th Century America

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.

Fall 2024 Course Offerings

The following courses approved for the minor are being offered in Spring 2024:

  • ANTH 147, Comparative Healing Systems
    Professor Michele Rivkin-Fish
    MW, 5:00pm – 6:15pm (lecture) + required recitation
  • ANTH 270, Living Medicine
    Professor Martha King
    MWF, 1:25pm – 2:15pm (lecture) + required recitation
  • ANTH 448, Health and Medicine in the American South
    Professor Martha King
    MWF, 11:15am – 12:05pm 
  • ENGL 163, Introduction to Health Humanities
    Professor Kym Weed
    MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am
  • ENGL 266, Science & Literature
    • Section 001
      Professor Joe Fletcher
      TR, 9:30am – 10:45am
    • Section 002
      Professor Sarah Parijs
      MWF 1:25pm – 2:15 pm
  • ENGL 370, Race, Health, & Narrative
    Professor Cynthia Current
    MWF, 2:30pm – 3:20pm
  • GEOG 222, Health & Medical Geography
    Professor Michael Emch
    TR, 5:00pm – 6:15pm
  • PLCY 565, Global Health Law & Policy
    Professor Benjamin Meier
    TR, 11:00am – 12:15pm
  • SOCI 180, Introduction to Global Population Health
    Professor Elizabeth Frankenberg
    TR, 11:00am – 12:15pm
  • SOCI 422, Sociology of Mental Health & Illness
    • Section 001
      Professor Katrina Branecky

      MWF, 1:25pm – 2:15pm
    • Section 002
      Professor Johannah Palomo
      MWF, 9:05am – 9:55am
    • Section 003
      MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am
  • SOCI 469, Health & Society
    • Section 001
      Professor Micah Nelson
      MWF, 1:25pm – 2:15pm
    • Section 002
      Professor Grace Franklyn
      MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am
    • Section 003
      Professor Denise Mitchell
      MWF, 12:20pm – 1:10pm
  • WGST 330, Women’s Health Activism in Twentieth Century America
    Professor Jillian Hinderliter
    TR, 8:00am – 9:15am

Professional School and Career Opportunities

The Honors Carolina interdisciplinary minor prepares students for a variety of careers in medicine and health care, health policy, and social services. The minor is also valuable 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 Carolina 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.