HMED 3315: Early Modern Medicine in the Arts and Literature

3 CreditsArts/Humanities

What did the arts offer to medicine, and what did medicine offer to the arts in early modern time? How did the representation of the human being in poetry, drama, and figurative arts interplay with the new medical culture and practices at that time? This course will examine the dynamic interchange and engagement of Western Renaissance medical culture (before 1800) in relation to literary, visual and performing arts, approaching questions that cross disciplinary, geographical, and social boundaries. Topics to be addressed include historical questions related to the intersection between the late European medieval university’s programs of medicine and arts, humanistic culture, and medical charlatanism. Moreover, we will focus on the ephemeral rituals of medical and performative practices and the visual culture in works of art and scientific illustrated treatises of life, death, and the afterlife. Finally, we will explore the embodiments in poetry and drama of illness and metaphor, gender conflicts, and medical, spiritual, and philosophical views of what it meant to be human. By exploring the value of humanistic study and medical ethical concerns in Renaissance humanism, students will understand the historical sources of a modern humanistic formation and be informed about the importance of ethics to citizenship, reconsidering the present vision of a humanistic education and imagining the future in the academic humanities and in our society. The course will culminate in a digital project involving students in the creation of a virtual exhibit on the course topics, by using the New Builder StoryMaps software proposed by DASH/U-Spatial. This is an introductory-level course.

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All Instructors

A Average (3.917)Most Common: A (55%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

11 students
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  • 4.25


  • 3.50


  • 3.25


  • 3.75



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