Explore the field of medical humanities - the intersection of the arts, humanities and healthcare - with this free online course.
Why join the course?
This free online course will explore the intersection of medicine, medical anthropology and the creative arts. Through each of its six weeks, we’ll visit a new aspect of human life and consider it from the perspectives of people working in health sciences, social sciences and the arts.
Explore the emerging field of medical humanities
The course will introduce you to the emerging field of medical humanities and the concept of whole-person care, via these six themes:
- The Heart of the Matter: A Matter of the Heart
- Children’s Voices and Healing
- Mind, Art and Play
- Reproduction and Innovation
- At the Edge: Madness and Medicine
- Death and the Corpse
Together, we’ll question our propensity to separate the body from the mind in healthcare, consider what defines humanity, and share points of connection and difference between art and medicine.
Learn with specialists from diverse fields
Contributors to the course will include a psychologist, psychiatrist, heart surgeon, pathologist, oncologist, sociologist, poet and visual artist. They will pose critical questions about how we deal with health, healing and being human.
Each has been filmed on location in Cape Town, including at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the Heart of Cape Town Museum, and the Pathology Learning Centre.
Develop and discuss your own ideas
The course will encourage you to discuss your ideas with learners all over the world, and reflect on the ways in which bodies, health, social life, culture and the imagination intersect in your local setting. Together, we’ll ask:
- How is it that academic disciplines have become so rigid in their focus that they sometimes struggle to talk meaningfully to general audiences and other specialists?
- And what potential can we unlock by combining different fields of expertise and the silos of knowledge that otherwise separate them?
By the end of the course, you’ll understand multiple, complex perspectives on health, illness and healing, and be able to create alternative responses to important health challenges.
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.
- Available now
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:
- Identify interdisciplinary perspectives in health and humanities used in addressing complex healthcare challenges.
- Discuss how the arts and humanities contribute to improved healthcare practices.
- Understand the role of the arts in approaches to healthcare within six health-related topics.
- Contribute your local perspective and relate it to the perspective of others.
Who is the course for?
This course is open to everyone. All that’s required is an interest in medicine, the arts or social sciences.
Who will you learn with?
Associate Professor Susan Levine & Professor Steve Reid
Susan: Associate Professor of Anthropology - School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics.
Steve: Family Physician with experience in clinical practice, education and research.
Who developed the course?
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is one of the leading higher education and research institutions on the African continent and has a tradition of academic excellence that is respected worldwide.
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About the School
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