21A.460J / SP.620J / WGS.620J Medicine, Religion and Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora

As taught in: Spring 2005

A woman receiving a vaccination at a street clinic as others watch.

Woman receiving a vaccination. (Image courtesy of U.S. AID.)




Prof. Erica James

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides an exploration of colonial and postcolonial clashes between theories of healing and embodiment in the African world and those of western bio-medicine. It examines how Afro-Atlantic religious traditions have challenged western conceptions of illness, healing, and the body and have also offered alternative notions of morality, rationality, kinship, gender, and sexuality. It also analyzes whether contemporary western bio-medical interventions reinforce colonial or imperial power in the effort to promote global health in Africa and the African diaspora.