Modular Courses

These courses are divided into multiple modules, each taught by either Rice faculty members, external curators, and/or members of the Texas Medical Center. Inviting specialists, such as curators or clinicians, to co-teach these courses creates tangible situations of reciprocity between the campus and the city, making it possible for leaders in the arts, culture, and medicine to connect their respective practices with current scholarship and have a hand in shaping future generations of practitioners and/or scholars.


HURC 201 - Introduction to the Medical Humanities [Offered twice/year]
Kirsten Ostherr, Professor of English
This core course in the Medical Humanities minor examines the history of medicine, concepts of disease vs illness, narrative medicine, health disparities, religion, spirituality, and the role of science and technology on the practices of healthcare. Students develop skills in close reading, interpretation, historical contextualization, critical thinking.

Fall 2016-Spring 2017

ANTH 477: Disability Inside Out: Sexuality, Politics, Identity [Spring 2017]
Instructor(s): Zoë Wool
Education about disability often occurs within a medical framework governed by logics of pathology and impairment. This course contextualizes and contests this framework by exploring disability from the inside out, through the experiences and work of artists, activists, and scholars with disabilities. This course will bring to Rice leading local and national figures in disability culture, scholarship, and care, offering students the unique opportunity to learn about disability 'from the inside out'.

Fall 2015-Spring 2016

HURC 409/HURC 609 - Advanced Study in Museums and Heritage: Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean at the Menil Collection [Spring 2016]
Instructor(s): John Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Art History and Classical Studies
The course will introduce students to issues specific to the acquisition, collection maintenance, display and publication of arts from the ancient Mediterranean, perhaps the most legally and ethically complex area of museological practice, and to the civic engagement and operation of a small, important collection, specifically the Menil Collection. Additionally, students will engage in directed research on artifacts using archival records, library resources and the objects themselves.
Invited Speakers: Susan Langdon, Professor and Chair, Department of Art History, University of Missouri; Phoebe Segal, Assistant Curator at MFA Boston; David Aylsworth, Houston-Based Artist; Paul Davis, Curator of Collections at The Menil Collection; Sarah Costello, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Houston Clear Lake; Kari Dodson; Consuelo Gutierrez, Object of Fashion.

HURC 307 - Critical Humanities of Health and the Body [Spring 2016]
Instructor(s): Melissa Bailar, Professor in the Practice of Humanities
This course comprises six modules co-taught by faculty and medical professionals. Modules will address DNA and genetics, changes in medical education, the pathologization of difference, the process of dying, disability and ability, the doctor-patient relationship, and more.
Invited Speakers: Philip Montgomery, Head of the John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center at the Texas Medical Center Library; Bryant Boutwell, John P. McGovern Professor in Oslerian Medicine at UT Health Medical School; Alanna Beroiza, Doctoral Candidate in Rice University’s Department of English; Jonathan Metzl, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, Professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University; Renata Domatti, Director of Case Management at Cornerstone Hospital of Austin; Eric Treadway, Houston activist in AIDS awareness and researcher on needle-exchange programs; Judith Roof, William Shakespeare Chair in English and Professor of English at Rice University; John Mulligan, Lecturer, Rice HRC.