Objects of Knowledge in the Medical and Health Humanities

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

Students engage with the material culture of medicine to investigate how
museums collect and interpret medical history. The course trains
students to analyze diverse sources from previous centuries, from wax
anatomical models to surgical instruments, patient photographs, and
public health films, and to consider the meanings derived from such
materials in different historical moments and contexts.

Inhoud vak

Classes focus on the production and use of historical medical artifacts,
and their interpretation today by scholarly researchers, museum
curators, and public audiences. Sessions include visits to medical
museums, curator’s tours of exhibitions and collections depots, and
hands-on classes working directly with objects and archival materials.
Course readings and discussions address the histories of collecting
different types of medical heritage, such as human remains or medical
technologies, and the challenges and benefits of preserving and
displaying them. Students are also encouraged to consider how the
presentation of the past reflects contemporary concerns, and conversely,
how historical objects might be used to engage with current issues, such
as anti-vaccination or disability rights.
This course is part of the specialist Master Track in Medical and Health
Humanities. Students who wish to complete the full track are also
required to take the course Introduction to Medical and Health
Humanities (Block 4), Knowing by Sensing (Block 4), and Research
Seminar: Medicine in Society (Block 5). It is also possible to take just
one, two, or three courses.



Weekly seminar (either at the VU or at a participating museum in
Amsterdam or nearby in Leiden, Utrecht, or Haarlem). Students are
expected to prepare for these sessions by completing the required
reading and/or viewing museum websites and online exhibitions. Regular
attendance is required.


1 short paper reviewing the student’s own responses to interactive
sessions with objects, and 1 longer paper due at the end of the course
presenting the student’s own findings about an object they have selected
for their own research.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode L_GAMAGES036
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P5
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Vakcoördinator prof. M.S. Parry
Examinator prof. M.S. Parry
Docenten prof. M.S. Parry

Praktische informatie

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