History 355/CAAS 355: Health and Illness in African Worlds;
Prof. Nancy Hunt
This course considered health and illness, medicine and disease in diverse African worlds from the fifteenth century to the present. It was designed for students planning careers in the health professions in this country and abroad. No prior knowledge of Africa was assumed. Though historical in nature, the course drew on the methodologies of medical anthropology, epidemiology, and medical sociology. It proposed health and wealth as a central themes to the history of Africans in diverse social and historical contexts, both on the African continent and in the larger Black Atlantic world. The central question was: what happened to these deeply rooted forms of moral logic and therapeutic practice as Africans encountered new forms of wealth, inequality, and disease and new medical and healing systems associated with slave trades, colonialisms, epidemics, famines, debt and theft from the fifteenth century to the present?