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Boston College has launched a new interdisciplinary minor—in Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture—focused through the lenses of the natural and social sciences, history, philosophy, theology, narrative prose (literary and journalistic), and the arts. Currently 29 courses are being offered, taught by faculty from the Connell School of Nursing, the Law School, the School of Theology and Ministry (STM), and the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). Among the classes are “Public Policy in an Aging Society,” taught by research economist Matthew Rutledge of the University’s Center for Retirement Research; “Theological Bioethics,” taught by STM associate professor of moral theology Andrea Vicini, SJ; and “Writing the Body in Illness and Health,” taught by associate professor of English Amy Boesky, the program’s director. A required introductory course, also taught by Boesky, features lecturers from the departments of psychology, theology, and sociology, and readings from Susan Sontag, Michel Foucault, and others. Concentrations within the minor include global/public health, values and ethics, mind and body, healthcare delivery, and medical narrative.
The minor was developed with support from the University’s Institute for Liberal Arts, and its introduction in the fall semester is being marked on November 22 with a symposium cosponsored by the institute. The topic of the symposium is “Genetics, Narrative, and Identity.” Sessions will explore challenges to the individual—and the impact on families and communities—of genetic predispositions and diagnoses for conditions such as Huntington’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis, and Fragile X.
The Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture minor joins 19 interdisciplinary minors in A&S and is the first to be added since the introduction of Islamic civilization and societies in 2007.
Read more by Zachary Jason