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Syllabi and reflections on teaching – a call for contributions

For those of us preparing to teach in the fall, August is not only a month of mosquito bites and leisurely naps on the beach, but also the time for writing or reworking our syllabi and course plans.  So in the spirit of the month, we are presenting a small series of posts about teaching medical anthropology and related topics.  There are a number of sites where topic-specific syllabi have been gathered — the Society for Medical Anthropology has a page, as does the Society for the Social Study of Science.  However, in addition to the syllabi, we’d like to include some reflections on the process of teaching the course itself — what the guiding ideas behind it were, how it was designed, what aspects of it have worked particularly well, and so on.  I wrote a similar post last year about an “Anthropology of the Body” course I had taught, and since then I’ve noticed that there is considerable interest in this kind of account.

The first of our posts is written by Janelle S. Taylor, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, and author, most recently, of The Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram: Technology, Consumption, and the Politics of Reproduction (Rutgers University Press, 2008).

Also, we’d like to invite Somatosphere readers to submit their syllabi and some thoughts on the process of teaching.  If you have a course that you think is particularly worth sharing — or an idea of someone who teaches such a course (we’d be happy to solicit the post from them) — get in touch with us at

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