Medical Experimentation on Humans: Historical and Literary Accounts


Spring 2019

Tuesdays 6:30-8 PM, Keohane 4B 402SEM

This course will explore the issue of medical experimentation on humans through a literary, historical, and ethical lens. The course investigates nonconsensual forms of human experimentation that have been used throughout history as well as voluntary forms such as clinical trials. The course is split up into three main sections: captive populations, issues of consent, and moving forward. We will study these topics by analyzing a variety of sources, including fiction texts, nonfiction texts, documentaries, movies, and peer-reviewed articles. One of the purposes of incorporating many types of sources is to evaluate how different media shed light on different aspects of human experimentation. For example, while nonfiction texts can lay out important chains of historical events, documentaries and novels can highlight complex emotions. Throughout the course, students will gain a deeper understanding of the concept of medical consent and will learn to critically analyze medical ethics through in-class debates and discussions.

  • Ariyani Challapalli,
  • Charlotte Sussman, English
Class Limit: