• Track: Global Cultures, Economics and Society
  • Credits: 3

“Health” has perhaps never been on the minds of the world’s population more than it is now. Yet, as we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice of medicine, the management of individual and population health, and the risks of disease vary within and across populations according to a wide range of political, social, economic, and cultural factors. We often think of the practice of medicine as a relatively straightforward pursuit and mobilization of knowledge about the body, but we understand the body and the population are tightly linked with our ever-changing notions of “health”. This course will introduce students to the field of Medical Geography (sometimes called Health Geography) through an exploration of recent literature on past and present health concerns. Over the course of the semester, we will cover a range of basic concepts and terms that will enable you to engage critically with key approaches to the geography of health. Among these are connectivity and global networks, disease, human migration, citizenship, cultural identity, urbanization, economy, and politics. The class will focus attention especially on the contrasts between ecological and social understandings of health and disease, focusing especially on the experience of infectious disease and its relationship to the unequal distribution of power, resources, and opportunity.