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ANTH8016 – Culture, Health and Disease

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Lisa Wynn
Please e-mail for appointment
Payel Ray
Contact via Only contact Ms Payel Ray if you can't reach Lisa
Payel Ray
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MDevStud or MPH or MGlobalHlthDevStud or GradCertGlobalHlthDevStud or MDevStudGlobalHlth or GradCertDevStudGlobalHlth or MAppAnth or MDevCult or MSocEntre or GradCertSocEntre or MPASR or MPASRMDevStud or GradDipPASR or GradDipPP or MPPP or MPPPMDevStud or MPPPMPASR or 10cp in ANTH units at 8000 level
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit examines the evolutionary, cultural, socio-economic, and political dimensions of disease and health. Notions of disease causality and healing practices vary across societies, and an understanding of the dynamics of these factors is crucial not only for theoretical advancement, but also for applied intervention in the field of international public health. In addition to surveying the key conceptual developments in medical anthropology, we look at how anthropological perspectives and methods can be used in applied settings. We also explore issues in critical medical anthropology, such as: How do global inequalities and violence affect health in developing countries? What larger social transformations accompany the rise of biomedicine, including recent biomedical technologies? These topics explore various dimensions through which medical anthropology can analyse and shape global health policies and interventions, preparing students to work in health policy and applied research.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate command of anthropological knowledge and theories relevant to the subdiscipline of medical anthropology and the broader study of illness and healing practices in their social and cultural contexts.
  • ULO2: Interview, analyse, and represent the illness experience of another person, emphasizing the integrative factors (culture, politics, social structure, etc.) influencing their condition.
  • ULO3: Apply the theories and concepts of medical anthropology to critically evaluate one’s own culture and determinants of illness and health.
  • ULO4: Demonstrate an understanding of how healing systems often cut across categories of religion, medicine, and social organization.
  • ULO5: Analyse how illness and health (and normality) are constructed within particular social, cultural, political, and environmental contexts.
  • ULO6: Identify how inequality, social hierarchy, and structural violence generate unequal and often unique health determinants in the global and transnational context.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts staff and students

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The seminar meets on Fridays from 5-7pm in the G08 Tutorial Room, 25a Wallys Walk.

Your active participation is essential to your learning experience.  The weekly 2-hour seminars will not be recorded, so you must plan to attend in person, and participation is a mandatory component of your final mark in the unit. Detailed information about seminar topics, resources, and assessment tasks can all be found on iLearn.

The unit convener will use the first half of each seminar to introduce concepts, provide background information or examples, or offer an overview of the key issues under discussion. The second half of the seminar will be devoted to discussing the issues and readings as well as your progress on the illness narrative project.

Seminar attendance and participation are mandatory.  Students are expected to be active participants and demonstrate that they have actively engaged the readings and material presented. Each student will take a turn helping to lead the seminar discussion one week with the unit convenor.

All required readings will be available electronically through iLearn. 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.