An interdisciplinary exploration of the role of imaging technologies in the practice of medicine, and the role of mass media in shaping our understandings of the body, health, and disease. This course examines visual media structure "ways of seeing" for physicians and for the public. Emphasis will be placed on developing media literacy skills.
ENGL 273: MEDICINE & MEDIA
Dr. Kirsten Ostherr
This interdisciplinary course explores the role of imaging technologies in the practice of medicine, and the role of mass media in shaping our understanding of the body, health, and disease. The proliferation of screen technologies such as film, television, personal computers, smart phones, apps and video games has led researchers to identify media literacy as a critical component of both medical training and public health intervention. Simultaneously, healthcare is increasingly promoted and delivered through imaging technologies such as x-rays, ultrasound, MRI, CT, PET and through digital information and communication technologies. We will examine the historical foundations of these interrelated developments and students will develop a framework for better understanding the current and future uses of these tools. We will explore the ethical dimensions of visual images in a variety of medical contexts, including the patient narrative and the electronic medical record. We will explore how to translate patient data into visual images and stories, and how to make data meaningful through real-life contextual frames. Students will analyze their positions as media consumers and develop skills necessary for producing ethical images and information about bodies, health, and disease. We will blend critical analysis with production; class projects will include short video production and other creative projects that reinvent the personal health record. Dr. Ostherr will team-teach segments of this course with clinician collaborators from the Texas Medical Center. Guest lectures by medical advisor to Grey’s Anatomyand more. 3 credit hours. Counts as elective for Medical Humanities minor