Spring 2020 (January-May) course offerings:
- Gender, Economic Inequality & Health
- Care Work
- The Global Pharmaceutical Economy & Health
Gender, Economic Inequality, and Health*
How does economic inequality contribute to public health crises? This course investigates the current state of the global economy with a focus on how economic inequality produces wide disparities in health risk, access to healthcare and clinical outcomes. It also explores how domestic and global structures related to economic trade and migration create dysfunctional healthcare delivery systems. Students leave the course understanding why transnational struggles for a single standard of care for all people will heal inequality in our global society.
Global Food Politics: Health Consequences
Enough food is produced internationally to feed the entire global population, so why do over 795 million people in the world go hungry? And, why is so much of the food we produce unhealthy, causing chronic illness, malnutrition and obesity? This class examines shifting patterns of food production from the traditional family farm to industrialized agriculture and transnational export chains. Students will learn how neoliberal trade policies restructure domestic and global food processing and distribution and why unhealthy food has become a staple of global consumption.
Debt, Crisis, and Women’s Health
Why has debt become the binding glue of the 21st century global economy and how does debt adversely affect health? This class explores the economic and social roots of debt and the resulting economic and public health crises it produces. Students will explore structural alternatives to debts and begin envisioning an economy less marked by crisis.
Women’s Global Health Movements*
How do advocates for healthy societies organize, work together and advance social and health justice? As part of a longstanding global social movement, women leaders have historically helped to create healthier and more dignified societies. This class investigates the role of women leaders in global movements for health and justice. Students will gain a better understanding of how the contemporary global political-economic context both constrains health activists and offers opportunities for transformative change.
This class situates professional nursing within the broader global context of the transnational care economy. Students will learn about the intimate nature of care work and identify how intensive physical labor, person-to-person communication and human touch pose a challenge to market-driven efforts to increase profit-making through mechanization and exploitation of nurses, migrant and precarious workers. It identifies strategies that care workers have used to improve working conditions and their ability to deliver safe, therapeutic and effective care both domestically and globally.
The Global Pharmaceutical Economy and Health
The pharmaceutical industrial complex (Big Pharma) threatens global public health with profit-motivated research and uncontrolled pricing. This class interrogates the political-economic context in which Big Pharma has evolved and the ethical implications of market based health care. It prepares students to advocate for research and fair distribution of life-saving medicines as a necessary component of an equitable healthcare system.
Gender, Environmental Justice, and Health
What conditions of the current economy deplete the earth’s resources and contribute to human-made climate catastrophes? This class identifies market forces and practices, including pursuit of economic growth, that degrade our environment and disproportionately impact women’s health and livelihoods. Students leave the class understanding that environmental pollution is a symptom of a toxic political-economy, that it increases both chronic and emergent health crises, and that health advocates can be pivotal in preventing disaster and reversing toxic trends.
* Certificate Requirement