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Medical Humanities

IMPORTANT! There will be an informational meeting and talk for current students and those interested in enrolling in the minor on Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Madison Hall 302. The minor is expanding to 50 students (from 25) and there are still a few spaces on the wait list available. Those of you already on the waitlist are guaranteed enrollment, but we hope you can still join us at this meeting to hear a talk given by Dr. Kirk St.Amant, from Louisiana Tech University, on the role of medical humanities in academia.

Typically, we approach the human body from a medical, diagnostic model. But physicians have long recognized that this approach to health and well-being is not sufficient for understanding our somatic life. The cross disciplinary minor in medical humanities provides students with a humanistic and social study of illness, health and the body. Drawing upon concepts found in the disciplines contributing to the minor, courses in the curriculum share the common focus of examining how individuals and institutions articulate and disseminate conceptions of the body, including constituent issues such as race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. 

Designed to complement any major, the goals of the medical humanities minor include helping students: 

  • Think critically about ways in which conceptions of illness, health and the human body are shaped through disciplinary perspectives. 
  • Articulate the ways in which race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender are socially constructed. 

To learn more about the minor, download the Medical Humanities brochure and the Medical Humanities advising form.

The minor is open to all undergradute students, and is filled on a first come, first served basis, with an initial cap of 25 students. To enroll in the minor, contact Dr. Michael J. Klein at kleinmj@jmu.edu to arrange an appoinment.

UPDATE 9/21/2017: We will be holding an information session and sign-up for the minor in mid-January of 2018. Until that time, please email Dr. Klein if you wish to be placed on a waiting list for the minor when it expands to 50 students next year. Please do not request enrollment in the minor via the online system, as your request will not be approved. Thank you!

UPDATE 4/12/2017: We have hit our enrollment cap of 25 students and are currently only taking names of those who wish to be placed on a waiting list for next year.

Participating Units
  • School of Communication Studies
  • Department of English
  • Geographic Science Program
  • Department of Health Sciences
  • Department of History
  • Department of Integrated Science and Technology
  • Program in Interprofessional Education
  • Department of Philosophy and Religion
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Sociology and Anthropology
  • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisory Board

Dr. Amanda Biesecker, Department of Integrated Science and Technology

Dr. Rebecca Brannon, Department of History

Dr. Rebecca Howes-Mischel, Department of Sociology and Anthropology 

Dr. Michael J. Klein, School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Ms. Kristy Liskey, Physician Assistant Program 

Dr. Cathryn Molloy, School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

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