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Science, Medicine, Technology and Society (Summer 2022)

In the Science, Medicine, Technology and Society (SMTS) Summer Program, we’ll connect the urgency of the present moment to interdisciplinary study in the liberal arts.

Understandings of the ‘contagious’, the ‘viral’, and ‘disease’ have provoked debate across history, literature, media, and cultural expression, and woven through religion and theories of self. This cluster of SMTS courses, which may be taken individually or in combination, explores this central issue in our post-pandemic society.

Perfect for those interested in medical or health career paths, these courses will help students complete core requirements as Tulane undergraduates, including service-learning, race and inclusion, and writing. They will build students’ fluency across a range of disciplines and help us to understand and address current crises in new and surprising ways.


The Tulane School of Liberal Arts and the Tulane School of Medicine now allow undergraduate and graduate students to enroll in several graduate-level Medical Humanities courses as a part of the SMTS Summer Programs.
Those School of Medicine (SOM) courses are identified with the BEMH prefix (Bioethics and Medical Humanities) and require coursework at the master’s student level.
Additionally, students in the Master of Science in Bioethics and Medical Humanities (BEMH MS) program may take SMTS Summer Programs courses for graduate credit, by enrolling in the cross-listed BEMH course. Please see registration information at the bottom of this page.

Learn more about The Science, Medicine, Technology and Society Working Group in Liberal Arts.

Courses Include:

  • HISU 2100 History of Medicine in the U.S. (3 credits)
    BEMH 6810 at graduate level

    Instructor: Karissa Haugeberg
    May 31-July 01 (Last day to add is June 3!)
    M-F 12:00-1:30 pm

    Students in this course will grapple with the social dimensions of medicine, disease, and health in U.S. history. We will study the history of medicine by examining how ordinary people have been affected by pandemics, advances in medical technologies, and changing ideas about health care. Students will have opportunities to consider how ideas about medicine have been shaped by economic, military, and social transformations in U.S. history.

    This course fulfills the NTC Race and Inclusion core curriculum requirement.
    This course fulfills the NTC Textual & Historical Perspectives core curriculum requirement.
    This course fulfills the NTC Tier-1 Writing core curriculum requirement.

  • HISU 3500 Contagious Surveillance (3 credits)
    BEMH 6811 at graduate level

    Instructor: Jacquelyne Howard
    June 01-July 31 (Last day to add is June 7!)
    Tue & Thu 3:30-6:00 pm

    This seminar examines the historical and contemporary relationships between contagions and practices of surveillance. This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary theories of surveillance studies using historical frameworks such as discipline, control, capitalism, media, and privacy during times of crisis related to race, gender, and class. Seminar discussions will include case studies where patriarchal power and racialized systems promoted perceptions of security, fear, exposure, and control while constructing medical knowledge. As praxis, students will use historical research strategies to design and produce a digital history project that uses technology tools such as maps, visualizations, textual analysis, and/or audio-visual production. All digital history skills will be taught in this course. All technical skill levels are welcome.

    This course fulfills the NTC Race and Inclusion core curriculum requirement.
    This course fulfills the NTC Textual & Historical Perspectives core curriculum requirement.

  • BEMH 6002 Foundations in Bioethics (3 credits)

    Instructor: Stephen Hanson
    June 1-July 31 (Last day to add is June 7!)
    T-Th 9:00-11:30 AM

    This course examines the theoretical foundations of bioethics. It begins by considering foundational questions regarding the nature of medicine, illness, and the physician/patient relationship. It then turns to discussion of the various ethical frameworks that guide decision-making in medicine, exploring principles, casuistry, narrative, feminist theory, and more. Finally, it closes by bringing these frameworks to bear on theoretical issues relating to social justice.

    This course is accepted as an alternative for PHIL-3550 Medical Ethics in major and minor requirements.

  • BEMH 6005 Medicine in Literature & Film (3 credits)

    Instructor: Valerie Holliday
    June 1-July 31 (Last day to add is June 7!)
    M-W 9:00-11:30 AM

    This course examines representations of medicine, sickness, and death in literature and film. The focus of the course will be on discussing and analyzing these representations for the purpose of gaining a richer understanding of lived experiences health and illness. It will provide students a method for identifying conflicts productively, theoretical models to understand and address such conflicts, and an opportunity to reflect on the edges of ethics and what to do there. Topics to be discussed include the following: death, illness and suffering, the physician/patient relationship, poverty, AIDS, racism, and war.

Register today! Current Tulane students can enroll now. Non-Tulane visiting undergraduates can apply now.
Tulane graduate students can enroll in the BEMH cross-listed versions of the courses listed above via the Schedule of Classes portal.

Summer 2022 Academic Calendar:
For any questions or additional information about School of Liberal Arts Summer Programs, please email

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