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/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 266: Science and Literature
  • ENGL 269, Introduction to Disability Studies
  • ENGL 370, Race, Health, and Narrative
  • ENGL 610, Science as Literature: Rhetorics of Science & Medicine
  • ENGL 611, Narrative, Literature, and Medicine: Advanced Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • GEOG 222, Health and Medical Geography
  • HIST 329, An Introduction to the History of Medicine
  • HIST 472, Medicine and Health in Early Modern Europe
  • HIST 622, Medicine and Society in America
  • HNRS 650 Topics in Medicine and the Humanities
  • MEJO 560/HBEH 660/HPM 550: Environmental and Science Journalism
  • PLCY 361, Health Policy in the United States
  • PLCY/HPM 565, Global Health Policy
  • PLCY 570/HPM 571, Health and Human Rights
  • RELI 665/WGST 664, Body and Suffering in Christian Mysticism
  • SOCI 422, Sociology of Health and Mental Illness
  • SOCI 431, Aging
  • SOCI 469, Health & Society

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 2023 Course Offerings

The following courses approved for the minor are being offered in Spring 2023:

  • AAAD 387, HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Diaspora
    Professor Lydia Boyd
    TR, 3:30pm – 4:45pm
  • ANTH 147, Comparative Healing Systems
    Professor Jocelyn Chua
    MWF, 12:20pm – 1:10pm (lecture) + required recitation
  • ANTH 270, Living Medicine
    Professor Martha King
    TR, 11:00am – 12:15pm (lecture) + required recitation
  • ANTH 319, Global Health
    Professor Mark Sorensen
    MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am (lecture) + required recitation
  • ANTH 442, Health and Gender after Socialism
    Professor Michelle Rivkin-Fish
    MW, 5:00pm – 6:15pm
  • ANTH/FOLK 470, Medicine and Anthropology
    Professor Martha King
    MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am (lecture) + required recitation
  • ENGL 71H, First Year Seminar: Doctors & Patients
    Professor Kym Weed
    MWF, 11:15am – 12:05pm
  • ENGL 269, Introduction to Disability Studies
    Professor Kym Weed
    MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am
  • HNRS 89, Medicine and Narrative: Writing COVID / Writing Us
    Professor Terry Holt
    M, 2:00pm – 4:30pm
  • HNRS 390 (Section 003), Learning the Art of Medicine
    Professor Matthew Nielsen
    T, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
  • MEJO 560, Environmental and Science Journalism
    Professor Thomas Linden
    MW, 2:00pm – 3:15pm
  • PLCY/HPM 570, Health and Human Rights
    Professor Benjamin Mason Meier
    TR, 12:30pm – 1:45pm
  • SOCI 422, Sociology of Health & Mental Illness
    Professor Katrina Branecky
    MWF, 2:30pm – 3:20pm
  • SOCI 469, Health & Society
    • Section 003
      Professor Denise Mitchell
      MWF, 10:10am – 11:00am
    • Section 004
      Professor Micah Nelson
      TR, 12:30pm – 1:45pm

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.