Historically, the relationship between African Americans and the institution of medicine has been drastically different compared to other racial groups, to the tone of historic exploitative experimentation and a lack of trust in the medical industry. Drawing on numerous racialized experimentation abuse incidents, we will explore how scientific thought and the dominant gaze on black bodies solidified the acceptance of racial experimentation as an acceptable practice. These events include surgical experimentation on slaves, forced sterilization, exposure to radiation and syphilis, and the cloning of Henrietta Lack's cells for future research and profit. These medical events have come to shape our lives, as they have resulted in medical advancements at the expense of individuals' fundamental human rights.
This course will teach us how to think sociologically about the intersections of gender, race, class, and medicine. We will begin by examining how historic ideologies about race have influenced the practice of medicine on patients without their knowledge. We will continue to explore how medical research has utilized race and sex as justification for involuntary medical experimentation and how medicine constitutes and acts on racial and gendered bodies. You will be charged with considering what role ethics and consent has and should play within the context of medical advances derived from racialized experimentation.
By the end of the course, you will:
There are no prerequisites for success in this course.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.