Course Title:  01:082:277  Art and Medicine

Academic Credits:  3 credits

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites and Corequisites:  None

Core Curriculum:  HST, AHp

Course Description:

This course is an offering in what is known as the “Medical Humanities”—an interdisciplinary field whose boundaries and methods are very much in formation. Broadly, it describes research that depends on the shared concerns of the humanities and the social and life sciences as they intersect with the history and culture of medicine.

We will look at how fine artists, scientific illustrators, and popular image-makers have envisioned medicine’s culture—especially its ways of knowing the body, and the implications of such knowledge for constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

This can include anything from Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomy drawings and 19th century portraits of the insane, to contemporary performance art and the imagery used by the media to dramatize epidemics. We will also consider the metaphorical uses of disease and deviance in the visual arts. For example, why does it seem as if Vincent Van Gogh’s work cannot be discussed without invoking his pathology? —the identification of which varies depending upon which neurologist, psychiatrist or art historian is writing about it.

The range of topics covered and the questions raised in the course are designed to introduce students in the humanities, fine arts and social sciences to the culture of science, while also offering life science and pre-med students an opportunity to think critically about the visual history of their own practices, and how they intersect, often in unexpected ways, with the history of art.

Course Instructor:

Fall, 2023 - Susan Sidlauskas

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current.  For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.