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76-322 Global Suffering: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Pain

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In medicine, "pain studies" are considered an interdisciplinary field of study; this perspective will serve as our initial model of inquiry. Students will be presented with the main concepts and issues of medical research on pain while being immersed in the challenges of interdisciplinary investigation. We will also focus on the role of arts in medicine, ranging from medical imaging to art therapy, and explore the role of suffering in different religious and philosophical traditions, including Stoicism, Hedonism, Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Literature also offers a broad spectrum of texts on that examine suffering, from Greek tragedies to contemporary pathographies. In particular, we will highlight the problems of traumatic writing as well as deliberating on the therapeutic possibilities of reading and writing, considering the role of narrative in psychotherapy, or relating writing therapy to art therapy, laugh therapy or play therapy. We will survey the media coverage of such topics as famine, disease, and war, and critically analyze journalistic and film practices, including documentaries, news coverage, and propaganda, while also debating critical issues such as the retraumatization of victims or "compassion fatigue." The course will culminate in an investigation of global suffering and human rights, and interrogate the creative possibilities for the arts in this domain.

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  Spring 2005 times

No sections available for semester Spring 2005.

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