Body, Health and Disease in Japanese History.
This course aims to explore views of the body, health and disease in Japanese history, with a particular focus on early modern or Edo-period Japan (1600-1868). What did people consider a ‘healthy’ life-style? How did they tackle epidemics and disease? What did they know about the body’s workings? What kind of medicine was practiced and who could practice it? These are some of the issues that we will tackle based on readings of primary and secondary sources; topics to be discussed include the female body and pregnancy; health and food; anatomy and ‘Dutch medicine’; traditional Chinese healing methods; and diseases from measles to syphilis. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on how seemingly ‘natural’ biological concepts such as the body, health and disease need to be understood as cultural categories that may have very different meanings across time.
Students will be able to
Identify key paradigms of the medical body, health and disease in early modern Japan
Critically analyse historical sources and secondary materials
Learn how to articulate evidence-based arguments in discussions and in writing
Marshal basic analytical and theoretical tools to approach the body in history
Reflect on the cultural trappings of their own attitudes towards the body
The timetable is available on Japanstudies
Mode of instruction
Students are expected to participate actively in discussions and group exercises and prepare weekly readings.
Midterm quiz (20%)
Research Paper Presentation (10%)
Research Paper (40%)
The required readings are either available on the digital course bookshelf or in the digital reader, as are some of the further readings that will be useful for essays.
Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs
Contact information Dr. A.C. Koch