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Choose six courses (18 credit hours) from the following courses. No more than two courses from a single subject (e.g. ANTH, ENG, SCOM, SOCI, etc.) can count toward the minor. Additionally, special topics courses offered by the participating units may also count. A current list will be distributed to students in the minor each semester and also appears below.

Permanent Electives

ANTH/SOCI 352. Birth, Death, Sex: Exploring Demography 

ANTH 360. Medical Anthropology 

ANTH 376. Anthropology of Reproduction 

ENG/WGS 368. Women’s Literature 

ENG 423. Advanced Studies in Gender and Sexuality in Literature 

GEOG 323. The Geography of Human Genetics, Infectious Diseases and Diet 

HTH 372. Human Sexuality 

HIST 306. A History of the Body in the West 

ISAT 456. Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Biotechnology 

ISAT/WGS 485. Gender Studies in Science 

IPE 415. Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare (1 credit)

JUST 315. Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System 

PHIL 262. Problems in Applied Ethics 

PSYC 308. Health Psychology 

REL 280. Religion and Science 

SCOM 471. Culture and Health Communication 

SOCI 336. Race and Ethnicity 

SOCI/WGS 337. Sociology of Gender 

SOCI 375. Medical Sociology 

SOCI 385. Madness and Society: Sociology of Mental Health and Illness 

WRTC 458. Scientific and Medical Communication 

WRTC 488. Writing in the Health Sciences 


NEW—Spring 2018 Electives

ENG 496 Section 2 Food Writing
In this food writing workshop, food memoir, food journalism, and recipe essays take center stage as we consider the ways in which food shapes our lives. “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,” said seminal food writer Jean Brillat-Savarin. Through our reading and writing activities we will reflect on this bold statement and excavate our own lives for the food stories we have yet to write: stories of hunger, ritual, obsession, gluttony, connection, division, cultivation, family, friends, cooks, farmers, and much more. The works we read will offer tools for writing your own stories as well as the inspiration to claim and develop your own voice. We’ll also pay attention to how writers put stories together through structural maneuvers and the accretion of vivid details. In our writing activities, we’ll hone our skills in developing memorable characters, evocative settings, and layered scenes to deliver the story you were meant to tell, and through our writing workshops, we will help each other refine the quality of our writing. 

IPE 490 Section 1 Caregivers Community Network (1 credit)
Caregivers Community Network is a collaboration between JMU and Valley Program for Aging Services. In this course, you have the opportunity to learn about and reflect on aging, caregiving, and the implications of living with dementia. 

SCOM 348 Communication and Gender
Study of theories and research regarding the influence of gender in various human communication contexts, both public and private. Emphasis on the critical analysis of existing theory and empirical research and the potential competent uses of communication for social change.

SCOM 370 Introduction to Health Communication
An introduction to the study of the theory and practice of communication in health- and medical-related fields. Emphasis on communication interaction between professional health providers and patients/clients. Consideration of strategies that promote effective communication between health/medical professionals and patients/clients.

WRTC 430/SCOM 343 Disability Rhetorics
In this course, we’ll follow the changing political and social positioning of disability from the rhetorical traditions of ancient Greece through the Commonwealth of Virginia’s eugenics law to the Americans with Disabilities Act, analyzing how our shared evolution is reflected in both legal and practical terms. This content provides a foundation from which to examine the contemporary rhetorical trends in disability studies, and the techniques employed by rhetors with disabilities to make their voices heard. This course requires regular written reflection, a disability narrative book review, an analysis of a built construct (e.g. a public staircase, or a bus stop), and culminates in an accessible, on-line final project that highlights individual members’ scholarly interests.


Fall 2017 Electives

ANTH 395. Special Topics in Anthropology: Evolution of Health and Disease.

ENG/WGS 370. Queer Literature. 

SOCI/GERN 280. Social Gerontology.   

SCOM 413: Advanced Special Topics in Communication Studies: Health and Media.

WRTC 430. Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: The Rhetoric of Mental Healthcare.  
In this course, students will become familiar with the various streams of research through which rhetoricians engage with mental illness topics, including: rhetorical critiques of technical documents such as diagnostic tools; rhetorically-framed concerns for over-diagnosis; and arguments for how best to engage the public to end stigma.

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