This course will examine changing ideas of health and disease in Africa as a subject of transnational concern, debate, and cause for action in the 20th century. We will study how global health campaigns and institutions translated in specific African contexts and simultaneously how experiences of disease and medicine in African contexts shaped global concerns. This course will take both a chronological and thematic approach, providing students with an overview of changing social, political and economic conditions that have impacted understandings of disease burden and health interventions in Africa over time. Topics of study will include colonial medical campaigns, disease eradication programs, international medical research, and postcolonial health systems. We will use specific regional and national examples, while also connecting these examples to broader developments in African history. At the same time, students in this course will interrogate how ‘Africa’ has functioned as a category within global health. The final weeks of the course will consider contemporary health issues in Africa and ask how historical perspectives can inform our analysis.
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