Winter 2014 Anthropology 3C03E

Health and the Environment: Anthropological Approaches
CROSS LISTED COURSE: Health, Aging and Society 3CC3E
Emily Cowall, PhD, Instructor
Department of Anthropology, McMaster University
CNH 428
cowallee@univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Office Hours:
Thursday 17:00-18:30 and by appointment
Class Schedule: 19:00-22:00 Thursdays JHE/A102
Course description:
This course focuses on the ways in which the health of human populations and communities are
affected by environmental conditions and in turn how human populations affect the health of
their environment. We will investigate and apply a number of anthropological approaches to
environmental health including medical ecology, biocultural anthropology, political-ecology,
development, and globalization. The course engages with questions of how history, politicaleconomy, ecology, and health inequalities, biology and culture affect environmental health. How
does the past connect to the present and the future? What components will help to make human
habitation on the planet more sustainable and perhaps improve environmental health for future
populations? To apply these concepts and approaches, our ethnographic site of investigation
focuses on how health and the environment play out in Mexico City, Distrio Federal, Mexico,
including the health and environmental concerns linking rural and urban populations.
The course has three methods of engaging students in learning:
First; class meetings will combine lectures with group discussions and visual media. A
variety of short videos and documentaries will be viewed, followed with group discussion work.
The interactive component is intended to help students hone their critical thinking and discussion
skills, rather than just learn a body of material.
Second; students will write a series of 3 in-classroom response papers throughout the
course. The writing component is intended to help students engage in the use of course readings
and answering research questions. Further, these short response papers build academic writing
skills using correct approach to citations, and presentation of critical analysis and opinion. The
instructor will provide the specific literature to be used for answering the provided questions one
week in advance of the assessment. (Please refer to detailed course outline in Avenue to Learn
for details).
Third; students will engage in sourcing academic readings using the McMaster
University Library on-line journal access to JSTOR and Anthrosource. This develops and
supports research skills, and provides the students with a range of primary and secondary
readings that enrich the in-classroom course topics. The students will be provided with a
bibliography of citations with a reading schedule that matches the course outline (posted in
Avenue to Learn). Students will be responsible for sourcing their readings and managing them as
pdf files or self-printing for their course use. (Please note: students must bring their own printed
copy of the readings assigned for the in-class writing assessment. No copies will be distributed
by the instructor)
Course Literature: Bibliography of Readings posted on Avenue to Learn
1

 The list of support materials and weekly assigned readings will be posted on Avenue  PLEASE come to office hours to discuss your learning requirements. please ask fellow students for notes. Cowall  This course is an integrated learning experience.  Students will use the upmost of courtesy in the Avenue mail system. (Class content is not exclusively a presentation of the content details of weekly assigned literature concerning our weekly topics-our course content is multifaceted)  Avenue to Learn will be used to serve as the method of communication.  Lecture materials will be posted on our course Avenue AFTER each class. 2 . this will prepare you for the assessments. and refrain from clogging this mail with non course related communication. The readings used for your writing responses are from the course readings (see bibliography posted on Avenue to Learn) you will bring the printed copies to the assessment for your use during your response to the question.Assessments Description: Assessments will be conducted as 3 IN-CLASS writing responses to a question posed based on the following topics:    Writing Assessment 1: 25%: Toxic Cities Writing Assessment 2: 40%: Factories and Pollution Writing Assessment 3: 35%: Health and The Environment: Anthropological considerations  The literature to be referenced during your in-class writing responses will be announced one week prior to the assessment. If you are away.  The course is delivered using the following:  1 lecture per week (Thursday 19:00-22:00) with Dr. Engagement with the total course experience is critical to your success in this course. students will be notified on Avenue to Learn. Seek advice prior to writing assignments if you are uncertain about how to approach the task. please check before leaving for class. The course is based on engagement and participation.  Materials and information generated from the in-class group discussions is the responsibility of the students. to seek help and to clarify any course content. participation in discussions and reading materials. but should consider this is a useful tool in your learning experience. The Assessment Question will NOT be provided before the assessment. Important Notes about the Course Class cancellations In the unlikely event of a class cancellation. You will not be examined on the information shared. your attendance.  This course encourages you to develop your note taking skills. You are encouraged to keep up with all of the primary literature assigned each week. You will take notes or share results from your own notes.

html *Forwarding will take effect 24-hours after students complete the process at the above link    All e-mails to your instructor must be written in full sentences (i. and refrain from non class related web-surfing during lecture.e. Be professional. especially if you send an e-mail outside of regular business hours. or at any time of day or night. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.ca/uts/support/email/emailforward. Please turn off your cell phones. courteous. 3 . the instructor may not reply at his or her discretion. must originate from the student’s own McMaster University e-mail account.Class attendance and preparedness Uneven class attendance is very likely to have a profound impact on your ability to thrive in the course. no point form. E-mail policy and class room courtesy FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES E-MAIL COMMUNICATION POLICY Effective September 1. Email Forwarding in MUGSI: http://www. You are expected to participate fully in the assessment components conducted in class. Ensure that you come fully prepared for class by engaging with the assigned materials. MSAF: for use in missed work less than 29% Properly submitted MSAF with the follow up correspondence or meeting is the only method for requesting an opportunity to address missed assessment work. Do not assume that you will hear back immediately. no text-messaging short form). Please provide your full name. note taking and participation. If an instructor becomes aware that a communication has come from an alternate address. 2010. Students requiring accommodations must discuss this with the instructor by week two of the course so arrangements can be organized appropriate to needs. please make immediate contact with the instructor to determine an appropriate plan to address your situation. Extensions will not be granted based for students claiming course load or course conflicts.mcmaster. it is the policy of the Faculty of Social Sciences that all e-mail communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs). Make every possible arrangement to ensure that you are able to attend classes. and respectful in all communications. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that communication is sent to the university from a McMaster account. Without the MSAF process. Extensions and missed work In the event of serious illness or unforeseen circumstances. Your instructor will respond to your e-mail in a timely manner. and must contain a subject line that includes the course designation 3C03 and/or 3CC3E. and from students to staff. Courtesy in the classroom Our demanding course schedule requires your attention. alternative arrangements will not be made available.

Student Accessibility Services http://sas. and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. chronic medical condition. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and instructor websites weekly during the term and to note any changes. 4 .mcmaster.pdf Statement regarding course modifications The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term.ca/ McMaster Student Absence Form http://mcmaster. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances.writing. ADHD. the grade of zero on an assignment.mcmaster. to discuss and approve the necessary components for each individual students needs and to ensure your needs are fully understood. sensory. Advice on Academic Writing: http://www.University Statement Regarding Academic Dishonesty Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences.ca/msaf/ Center for Student Development http://csd. loss of credit with a notation on the transcript. such as a learning disability. neurological or mobility limitation. including:  Learning Strategies  Assistive Technologies  Test & Exam Administration  Note-taking  Accommodations for Courses  SAS Lounge and Events Students registered with SAS are required to make an appointment to bring their accommodation letter to the Instructor in the first two weeks of the course. SAS assists with academic and disability-related needs.utoronto. This will be posted in the Content section of our 3C03E/3CC3E Avenue to Learn. mental health diagnosis. reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes.ca/ Student Accessibility Services (SAS) supports students who have been diagnosed with a disability or disorder. e. If either type of modification becomes necessary. For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty see: http://www. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.mcmaster.g.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.ca/advice/ You will be provided with a grading rubric outlining the expectations and the distribution of grades for your In-class response papers.

and anthropological considerations of health and the environment. Globalization and disease Week 12 Mar 27 Final Writing Assessment 3 In-Class Topic: Health and The Environment: Anthropological considerations ASSESSMENT 35% Week 13 Apr 3 Medical Anthropology: Social Science within the environmental health discourse. notice will be provided via Avenue to Learn) WEEK Week 1 Jan 9 TOPIC Introductory lecture: Health and the Environment *there will be a full 2 hour lecture this evening Overview of syllabus and course assessments/schedules/readings and Avenue to Learn (during the first hour of class) Week 2 Jan 16 The important terms of reference when considering anthropological approaches to health and the environment Week 3 Jan 23 Mexico City and Air pollution Urbanization and the Environment Week 4 Jan 30 Mexico City and responsiveness to environmental health Week 5 Feb 6 Writing Assessment 1 In-Class Topic: Toxic Cities Week 6 Feb 13 Toxic Water: the blue jean industry in Mexico Week 7 Feb 20 Reading Week NO CLASS Week 8 Feb 27 Factories in Mexico: Issues of health Week 9 Mar 6 Writing Assessment 2 In-Class Topic: Factories and Pollution Week 10 Mar 13 Anthropological perspectives on health and illness. Final class: ASSESSMENT 25% READING WEEK ASSESSMENT 40% 5 . In this case. environmental and cultural impact on health and illness Week 11 Mar 20 Big Impacts: Topics of consideration will include War. Factories and Pollution. Discussion of Toxic Cities. Food Insecurity. the topics can/will be adjusted according to the needs of the class should the occasion arise.Course Outline: (Please note.

6 . superior grasp of subject Excellent matter with sound critical evaluations. Some evidence of familiarity with the subject matter and Marginal some evidence that critical and analytic skills have been developed. capacity to analyze and synthesize. Adequate understanding of the subject matter and ability to develop solutions to simple problems in the material. evidence of extensive knowledge base. weakness in critical and analytic skills. good organization. some evidence of critical capacity and analytic ability. Little evidence of even superficial understanding of subject Inadequate matter.Statement on What Grades Mean Percentage Letter Grade 90-100 85-89 A+ A 80-84 A- 77-79 73-76 B+ B 70-72 B- 67-69 63-66 60-62 57-59 53-56 50-52 C+ C CD+ D D- 0-49 F Grade Definition Strong evidence of original thinking. reasonable Good understanding of relevant issues. evidence of familiarity with literature Student who is profiting from the university experience. Evidence of grasp of subject matter. limited or irrelevant use of literature.