Program in Culture, Health, and Science

The Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science (CHS) is a certificate program that allows undergraduate liberal arts students to explore human health, disease, and healing from interdisciplinary perspectives.

Graduate schools recognize that tomorrow's health experts will need interdisciplinary training to link their understandings of history, culture, and behavior with clinical, biological, and epidemiologic models of health and disease. Students design a plan of study that approaches "health" holistically from the perspective of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. 

Completing a CHS certificate builds on the liberal arts approach to equip students with tools to think critically about health issues. For example, students may learn to:

  • Recognize historical patterns of disease distribution, treatment, and health disparities
  • Appreciate the value of integrating literature, philosophy, and the arts with studies in STEM fields (and vice versa)
  • Develop technical skills (such as research design, media literacy, gene editing, foreign languages, econometrics, doula training, or statistical analysis) to apply to health issues
  • Navigate healthcare systems and be an advocate for themselves and others 
  • Apply contributions of multiple disciplines to the realm of public health, health promotion, cultural competence, disease eradication and global health

Students learn how behavior influences disease distribution, how biomedical categories change across time and culture, and how political and socioeconomic factors affect disease and treatment. CHS students learn to interpret and communicate their results to diverse audiences.

CHS is led by a Steering Committee of faculty members from all five colleges and a range of disciplines. CHS students work with their campus advisors to articulate objectives, select courses, and conduct independent projects or internships. Faculty and students alike are enriched by the cross-campus connections and interdisciplinary collaborations that the Culture, Health, and Science program fosters—locally and globally. Get on board!

Interested in learning more about CHS? Join our email list, follow us on Facebook, and fill out a Declaration of Interest Form.

On This Page

2020 is a year that fully illuminates the importance of the work that the Five College Program in Culture, Health, and Science (CHS) promotes. The lived experience and far-reaching consequences of structural anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and racial inequities are public health issues. This is a longstanding crisis, which is now being exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing climate emergency. Widespread protests demanding an end to systemic racism bring renewed urgency to our interdisciplinary approaches and inspire us to learn from vital traditions and develop new frames of reference. CHS supports students to listen to, learn from, and work with a wide range of communities and individuals with varied vantage points and backgrounds to advance common causes. In this way, we view ending racism and averting climate disaster as intertwined core concerns that demand decisive, sustained, and collective action.

Faculty

Culture, Health, and Science Campus Advisors are faculty members in a variety of disciplines at each of the five campuses who work directly with students pursuing the CHS certificate to guide students through the CHS program, answer questions and help students plan for successfully completing all certificate requirements.

If you are in your final year at one of the campuses and plan on completing the CHS certificate before graduation, or are just starting and want to learn more about the program, CHS advisors can help you find your way.

Read about the advisors at your institution through the links provided, and contact the advisor of your choice to arrange an advising session.

  • Felicity Aulino, Anthropology (teaching at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hampshire College and Mount Holyoke College)
  • Rebeccah Lijek, Biological Sciences

The CHS Program is guided by a steering committee comprised of faculty members from each of the five campuses and staff members of the Five College consortium.

Amanda Seaman, Asian Languages and Literatures, UMass Amherst

Richard Aronson, Health Professions Advisor
Alexandra Purdy, Biology
Chris Dole, Anthropology

Elizabeth Conlisk, Natural Sciences
Cynthia Gill, Natural Sciences
Alan Goodman, Natural Sciences

Rebeccah Lijek, Biological Sciences

Benita Jackson, Psychology
Sabina Knight, Comparative Literature
Susan Levin, Philosophy
Suzanne Zhang-Gottschang, Anthropology

Felicity Aulino, Anthropology (teaching at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College)
Dan Gerber, Public Health
Aline Gubrium, Public Health
Betsy Krause, Anthropology
Tom Leatherman, Anthropology
Amanda Seaman, Asian Languages and Literatures

Certificate

The Five College Certificate in Culture, Health, and Science complements any major, allowing students to deepen their knowledge of human health, disease, and healing through interdisciplinary inquiry. Under the guidance of faculty program advisors on each campus, students choose a sequence of seven courses available across the five campuses and identify (in consultation with their advisor) an appropriate project or internship that will count toward the certificate. (Four semesters of a second language is also recommended, but not required.) Together with the visiting lectures and seminars sponsored by the Program, CHS provides a structure that is adaptable for students interested in pursuing health-related careers, as well as those curious to learn how different disciplines analyze common human experience.

Interested in pursuing the Culture, Health, and Science Certificate?

First, reach out to a campus advisor and fill out the Declaration of Interest Form. Then, take a look at the Student Timeline to stay on schedule with the certificate program requirements. We also recommend that you download the CHS Certificate Completion Form (below) to help you and your advisor keep track of what courses you need and what requirements you have fulfilled.

Certificate Requirements

The seven required courses are to be distributed across the following five categories of inquiry:

  1. Biocultural Approaches
    Interdisciplinary and/or comparative approaches that explore the interdependent influences on human health and disease
  2. Mechanisms of Disease Transmission
    Mechanisms of disease growth and transmission within individuals and populations
  3. Population Health and Disease
    Exploring the relationships among social, behavioral, economic and other aggregate population forces on human health and disease
  4. Engaged and Humanistic Approaches
    Ethical, humanistic, artistic, and engaged approaches to human health and disease, including explorations of healthcare practice, policy, and activism.
  5. Research Design and Analysis
    Concepts of evidence, data collection, research ethics, measurement and modes of analysis

Further Details:

  • No course can be used to satisfy more than one category.  
  • No more than three courses can “double count” toward a student’s major.
  • Four semesters—or the equivalent—of a second language is recommended but not required. Such language training may be required for students seeking internships and summer research positions.

Independent Research Project

The Certificate requires the completion of an independent project such as an internship, thesis, Division III project, course project, independent study or other activity. You work with your campus CHS advisor to develop a project that satisfies both the Certificate requirements and your own interests. Not sure if you have an independent project that qualifies? Meet with your CHS Campus Advisor to find out.

Completion

When you complete the requirements for the CHS Certificate, return the completed Certificate Completion Form to your CHS campus advisor along with a copy of your transcript.

If you have any questions about the requirements or if you would like to pursue the certificate, contact your CHS Campus Advisor.

Courses

Spring 2022 CHS Courses: Category 1

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
AMST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Christopher T. Dole

TTH 10:00 AM-11:20 AM

Amherst College
ANTH-310-01-2122S
cdole@amherst.edu

This seminar draws on readings from medical and psychological anthropology, cultural psychiatry, and science studies to examine mental health and illness as a set of subjective experiences, social processes, and objects of knowledge and intervention. The course invites students to think through the complex relationships between categories of psychiatric knowledge, techniques of clinical practice, and the subjectivities of persons living with mental illness. The course will take up such questions as: Does mental illness vary across social, cultural, and historical contexts? How does the language of psychopathology, and the clinical setting of its use, affect people’s experience of psychological and emotional suffering? What novel forms of care, as well as neglect, have emerged with the “pharmaceuticalization” of psychiatry? How does contemporary psychiatry articulate a distinctive relationship between affect and power? These questions, among others, will be examined through richly contextualized ethnographic and historical writings, literary accounts, clinical studies, and films. The course will emphasize a comparative approach, as it explores the ways that anthropologists have struggled to examine mental illness and mental health in a cross-cultural perspective.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor C. Dole.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
BLST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Felicity Aulino

TTH 08:30AM-09:45AM

Mount Holyoke College
116410
faulino@mtholyoke.edu
This class challenges assumptions about death and dying as we examine its meanings and related practices in various cultural contexts. We will ask: what is universal about death and dying, and what is socially constructed? What can the social sciences, bio medicine, literature, the arts, and our own qualitative research tell us about the processes of dying, of grieving, and of providing care? In essence, what does it take to approach death?
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Pamela Stone

MW 10:00AM-11:15AM

Mount Holyoke College
116411
pstone@mtholyoke.edu
This course focuses on the biological and cultural components of childbirth through evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives. From the evolution of the pelvis to how nutrition, growth and development, health, trauma and cultural contexts can affect successful childbirth, we explore the birth process in the ancient world, historical trends, and recent dialogues surrounding the technocratic model of birth, to understand the changing focus of birth as female centered to a medical condition. Indigenous birthing customs and beliefs from a number of different cultural contexts will be considered, as well as contemporary rates of maternal mortality to understand the risks facing some today.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Benita Sibia Jackson

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
PSY-140-01-202203
bjackson@smith.edu
This course provides a broad overview of the field of health psychology using foundational concepts, theories, methods and applications. With a critical lens, we examine state-of-the-art research and current gaps in knowledge to explore topics including conceptualizations of health and illness, stress and coping, and health behaviors. We focus on how health is constituted by and interacts with its multiple contexts, particularly social and environmental ones. Students gain competency in this field through lectures, facilitated discussions, weekly quizzes, and written work. Enrollment limited to 60.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Benita Sibia Jackson

TH 1:20 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
PSY-343-01-202203
bjackson@smith.edu
How we think and feel can have a profound impact on our health. Through the interdisciplinary lens of psychosomatic medicine, we critically evaluate empirically-supported embodiment practices (e.g., breathwork, meditation, visualization) for preventing metabolic and cardiopulmonary diseases, major causes of death globally. We highlight recurring psychologically-mediated processes including placebo effects, emotion, and patient-practitioner relationships. More broadly, we consider how individual healing is embedded in social structural, cultural, and historical contexts, and begin envisioning what decolonized and liberatory healing means in the 21st century. The key emphasis of this course is ethically translating scientific research in this domain for public non-specialist audiences. Prerequisites: PSY 140 & 202. Juniors and Seniors only. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Thomas Leatherman

M W 9:05AM 9:55AM

UMass Amherst
26086

Herter Hall room 227

tleatherman@anthro.umass.edu
This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AA

F 9:05AM 9:55AM

UMass Amherst
26087

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AB

F 10:10AM 11:00AM

UMass Amherst
26088

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AC

F 11:15AM 12:05PM

UMass Amherst
26089

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AD

F 12:20PM 1:10PM

UMass Amherst
26090

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AE

F 1:25PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
26091

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AF

F 2:30PM 3:20PM

UMass Amherst
26092

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Thomas Leatherman

M W 2:30PM 3:45PM

UMass Amherst
38363

Elm Room 228

tleatherman@anthro.umass.edu
This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Felicity Aulino

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
25985

Tobin Hall room 304

felicity@anthro.umass.edu
This class challenges assumptions about death and dying as we examine its meanings and related practices in various cultural contexts. We will ask, what is universal about death and dying, and what is socially constructed? What can the social sciences, biomedicine, literature, the arts, and our own qualitative research tell us about the processes of dying, of grieving, and of providing care? In essence, what does it take to approach death?
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Achsah Dorsey

TU TH 4:00PM 5:15PM

UMass Amherst
37668

Bartlett Hall room 61

adorsey@umass.edu
Throughout the semester, we will explore in depth the interaction of biological, social, and cultural factors in determining human diet, nutrition, and health. Course content will include discussions about the various approaches to nutritional anthropology, nutritional basics, food behaviors, methods of dietary and nutritional assessment, and a series of case studies addressing causes and consequences to nutritional problems across the world. Major anthropological contributions will be highlighted, along with works from nutrition, epidemiology, and other fields. All students are expected to approach the material with an open mind and with patience for terms or theories that are unfamiliar. Students should have familiarity with basic biology and social science concepts.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 CHS Courses: Category 2

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
ANTH-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
HIST-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
SOCI-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

(Offered as SWAG 228, ANTH 228, HIST 228 [US/TR/TS] and SOCI 228) Taking an interdisciplinary approach to COVID, including approaches from ethnic studies, history, gender studies, bioethics, and more, this course will critically examine and understand our current global health crisis. Themes that we will be exploring include vaccine access, vaccine hesitancy, necropolitics, and racial inequality such as the rise of Asian/Asian American violence and health disparities.

Spring semester. Limited to 30 students. Professors Karkazis and Peralta.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

1
4.00

Cynthia Gill

10:30AM-11:50AM M;10:30AM-11:50AM W

Hampshire College
334531

Cole Science Center 316;Cole Science Center 316

cjgNS@hampshire.edu
The social, nutritional and sensory environment of an organism can dramatically affect the expression of specific hormones. Those hormones, in turn, can determine the development, degree of plasticity and output of the nervous system. Thus, the behavior an organism can have is sometimes determined by the endocrine constraints on the nervous system. This course examines how the endocrine system interacts with the nervous system to influence behavior in a range of organisms. We'll start with the foundations of nervous and endocrine system physiology and anatomy with consideration of common methods and techniques in neuroendocrine and behavioral research. Then we will focus on some specific behaviors such as parental behavior, reproductive behavior, feeding, affiliation, aggression, learning, and memory. In addition, we'll consider the range of normal to "abnormal" behaviors and the neuroendocrine factors that could influence these behaviors. Keywords: neuroscience, behavior, animal, endocrinology, biology
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Rebeccah Lijek

W 01:30PM-04:20PM

Mount Holyoke College
116800
rlijek@mtholyoke.edu
Smallpox, a disfiguring infection called "one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity" by the World Health Organization, was eradicated from the planet through immunization. Polio paralyzed 350,000 children a year until immunization reduced infection by 99%. Why have we succeeded in immunizing against these pathogens but not HIV or the common cold? Students in this seminar will discuss primary literature in immunology, microbiology, and epidemiology to learn how vaccines outsmart pathogens. Study of biological mechanisms will be complemented with exploration of the socioeconomic factors that influence vaccine development and usage. Students' independent research will connect their interests and current events to course concepts.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Benita Sibia Jackson

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
PSY-140-01-202203
bjackson@smith.edu
This course provides a broad overview of the field of health psychology using foundational concepts, theories, methods and applications. With a critical lens, we examine state-of-the-art research and current gaps in knowledge to explore topics including conceptualizations of health and illness, stress and coping, and health behaviors. We focus on how health is constituted by and interacts with its multiple contexts, particularly social and environmental ones. Students gain competency in this field through lectures, facilitated discussions, weekly quizzes, and written work. Enrollment limited to 60.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Benita Sibia Jackson

TH 1:20 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
PSY-343-01-202203
bjackson@smith.edu
How we think and feel can have a profound impact on our health. Through the interdisciplinary lens of psychosomatic medicine, we critically evaluate empirically-supported embodiment practices (e.g., breathwork, meditation, visualization) for preventing metabolic and cardiopulmonary diseases, major causes of death globally. We highlight recurring psychologically-mediated processes including placebo effects, emotion, and patient-practitioner relationships. More broadly, we consider how individual healing is embedded in social structural, cultural, and historical contexts, and begin envisioning what decolonized and liberatory healing means in the 21st century. The key emphasis of this course is ethically translating scientific research in this domain for public non-specialist audiences. Prerequisites: PSY 140 & 202. Juniors and Seniors only. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 CHS Courses: Category 3

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
ANTH-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
HIST-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
SOCI-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

01
4.00

Katrina Karkazis, Christine N. Peralta

MW 04:00 PM-05:20 PM

Amherst College
SWAG-228-01-2122S
kkarkazis@amherst.edu cperalta@amherst.edu
SWAG-228-01, HIST-228-01, ANTH-228-01, SOCI-228-01

(Offered as SWAG 228, ANTH 228, HIST 228 [US/TR/TS] and SOCI 228) Taking an interdisciplinary approach to COVID, including approaches from ethnic studies, history, gender studies, bioethics, and more, this course will critically examine and understand our current global health crisis. Themes that we will be exploring include vaccine access, vaccine hesitancy, necropolitics, and racial inequality such as the rise of Asian/Asian American violence and health disparities.

Spring semester. Limited to 30 students. Professors Karkazis and Peralta.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

1
4.00

Elizabeth Conlisk

10:30AM-11:50AM TU;10:30AM-11:50AM TH

Hampshire College
334532

Cole Science Center 316;Cole Science Center 316

eacNS@hampshire.edu
This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of epidemiology, the core science of public health and the primary tool for measuring health disparities. The course covers the major concepts usually found in a graduate-level introductory course in epidemiology: outbreak investigations, study design, measures of effect, internal and external validity, reliability, and causal inference. Assigned readings are drawn from a standard textbook and the primary literature. In addition, students read case studies and work step-by-step through major epidemiologic investigations of the 20th century, including the first studies linking smoking and lung cancer; the controversies regarding HIV screening in the early years of the AIDS epidemic; and the emergence of a mysterious syndrome eventually linked to a health supplement. Students also form small groups to design and conduct a small epidemiologic study on campus. The major assignments for the course are four case studies; regular response papers/worksheets on the readings; a poster presentation of the small group study; and a proposal for an epidemiologic study of the student's choosing. Keywords: epidemiology, public health, health disparities, data science
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Pamela Stone

MW 10:00AM-11:15AM

Mount Holyoke College
116411
pstone@mtholyoke.edu
This course focuses on the biological and cultural components of childbirth through evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives. From the evolution of the pelvis to how nutrition, growth and development, health, trauma and cultural contexts can affect successful childbirth, we explore the birth process in the ancient world, historical trends, and recent dialogues surrounding the technocratic model of birth, to understand the changing focus of birth as female centered to a medical condition. Indigenous birthing customs and beliefs from a number of different cultural contexts will be considered, as well as contemporary rates of maternal mortality to understand the risks facing some today.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Rebeccah Lijek

W 01:30PM-04:20PM

Mount Holyoke College
116800
rlijek@mtholyoke.edu
Smallpox, a disfiguring infection called "one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity" by the World Health Organization, was eradicated from the planet through immunization. Polio paralyzed 350,000 children a year until immunization reduced infection by 99%. Why have we succeeded in immunizing against these pathogens but not HIV or the common cold? Students in this seminar will discuss primary literature in immunology, microbiology, and epidemiology to learn how vaccines outsmart pathogens. Study of biological mechanisms will be complemented with exploration of the socioeconomic factors that influence vaccine development and usage. Students' independent research will connect their interests and current events to course concepts.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Thomas Leatherman

M W 9:05AM 9:55AM

UMass Amherst
26086

Herter Hall room 227

tleatherman@anthro.umass.edu
This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AA

F 9:05AM 9:55AM

UMass Amherst
26087

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AB

F 10:10AM 11:00AM

UMass Amherst
26088

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AC

F 11:15AM 12:05PM

UMass Amherst
26089

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AD

F 12:20PM 1:10PM

UMass Amherst
26090

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AE

F 1:25PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
26091

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01AF

F 2:30PM 3:20PM

UMass Amherst
26092

Dickinson Hall room 110

This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Thomas Leatherman

M W 2:30PM 3:45PM

UMass Amherst
38363

Elm Room 228

tleatherman@anthro.umass.edu
This course provides an introduction to Biocultural Anthropology, the integration of biology and culture in the study of humankind. There are many facets of the human experience that are at the same time biological, social, and imbued with cultural meaning. Examples include race and racism, sex and gender, reproduction and birth, health and medicine, global nutrition, obesity, stress and mental health, violence, and trauma, and others. The course will introduce students to perspectives from social, cultural and biological anthropology and then bring these perspectives into play to investigate and illuminate these examples of the human experience. One of the key goals in the class is to better understand how individuals' lived experience becomes embodied as human biology. (Gen. Ed. SB)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Achsah Dorsey

TU TH 4:00PM 5:15PM

UMass Amherst
37668

Bartlett Hall room 61

adorsey@umass.edu
Throughout the semester, we will explore in depth the interaction of biological, social, and cultural factors in determining human diet, nutrition, and health. Course content will include discussions about the various approaches to nutritional anthropology, nutritional basics, food behaviors, methods of dietary and nutritional assessment, and a series of case studies addressing causes and consequences to nutritional problems across the world. Major anthropological contributions will be highlighted, along with works from nutrition, epidemiology, and other fields. All students are expected to approach the material with an open mind and with patience for terms or theories that are unfamiliar. Students should have familiarity with basic biology and social science concepts.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 CHS Courses: Category 4

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
AMST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Jallicia A. Jolly

TTH 01:00 PM-02:20 PM

Amherst College
BLST-296-01-2122S
jjolly@amherst.edu
AMST-296-01, BLST-296-01, SWAG-296-01

(Offered as AMST 296, BLST 296 [D] and SWAG 296). This course explores the transnational politics of race, gender, sexuality, and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. It engages a range of texts and methodologies that locate the historical and contemporary experiences of Afro-diasporic women and girls in the struggle for embodied freedom, autonomy, and reproductive justice. We will draw on examples from Africa and the African diaspora (U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America) as we engage the main debates in reproductive justice around key issues: sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV/AIDS; sexual autonomy and choice; sterilization; police brutality; the right to bear children; abortion. The course will also introduce students to theories about health and illness, embodiment and subjectivity, critical race theory, ethnography, black feminist theory, and postcolonial health science studies. Class field trips to reproductive justice organizations will also provide an experiential component that grounds our inquiries.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Post-Doctoral Fellow Jolly.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

1
4.00

Marlene Fried

01:00PM-02:20PM TU;01:00PM-02:20PM TH

Hampshire College
334519

Franklin Patterson Hall 106;Franklin Patterson Hall 106

mgfSS@hampshire.edu
Abortion rights continue to be contested in the U.S. and throughout the world. Since it was legalized in the U.S. in 1973, there have been significant erosions in abortion rights and access, and today, legal abortion itself is facing direct challenges from state laws, some of which are already slated to be heard by the Supreme Court. Harassment of abortion clinics, providers, and clinic personnel by opponents of abortion is routine, and there have been several instances of deadly violence. This course examines abortion politics in the U.S. before before legalization to the present. We view the abortion battle in the U.S. in the wider framework of reproductive justice. Specific topics of inquiry include: abortion worldwide, coercive contraception and sterilization abuse, welfare rights, population control, incarceration and reproduction, and the criminalization of pregnancy. We explore the ethical, political and legal dimensions of the issue and investigate anti-abortion organizing and the resistance to it from the abortion rights and reproductive justice movements.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Felicity Aulino

TTH 08:30AM-09:45AM

Mount Holyoke College
116410
faulino@mtholyoke.edu
This class challenges assumptions about death and dying as we examine its meanings and related practices in various cultural contexts. We will ask: what is universal about death and dying, and what is socially constructed? What can the social sciences, bio medicine, literature, the arts, and our own qualitative research tell us about the processes of dying, of grieving, and of providing care? In essence, what does it take to approach death?
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Sabina Knight

TU TH 4:10 PM - 5:25 PM

Smith College
WLT-270-01-202203
sknight@smith.edu
From medieval Chinese tales to memoirs about SARS and COVID-19, this cross-cultural literary inquiry explores how conceptions of selfhood and belonging inform ideas about well-being, disease, intervention and healing. How do languages, social norms and economic contexts shape experiences of health and illness? From depression and plague to aging, disability and death, how do sufferers and their caregivers adapt in the face of infirmity or trauma? Our study will also consider how stories and other genres can help develop resilience, compassion and hope. Enrollment limited to 20.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Felicity Aulino

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
25985

Tobin Hall room 304

felicity@anthro.umass.edu
This class challenges assumptions about death and dying as we examine its meanings and related practices in various cultural contexts. We will ask, what is universal about death and dying, and what is socially constructed? What can the social sciences, biomedicine, literature, the arts, and our own qualitative research tell us about the processes of dying, of grieving, and of providing care? In essence, what does it take to approach death?
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 CHS Courses: Category 5

1
4.00

Elizabeth Conlisk

10:30AM-11:50AM TU;10:30AM-11:50AM TH

Hampshire College
334532

Cole Science Center 316;Cole Science Center 316

eacNS@hampshire.edu
This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of epidemiology, the core science of public health and the primary tool for measuring health disparities. The course covers the major concepts usually found in a graduate-level introductory course in epidemiology: outbreak investigations, study design, measures of effect, internal and external validity, reliability, and causal inference. Assigned readings are drawn from a standard textbook and the primary literature. In addition, students read case studies and work step-by-step through major epidemiologic investigations of the 20th century, including the first studies linking smoking and lung cancer; the controversies regarding HIV screening in the early years of the AIDS epidemic; and the emergence of a mysterious syndrome eventually linked to a health supplement. Students also form small groups to design and conduct a small epidemiologic study on campus. The major assignments for the course are four case studies; regular response papers/worksheets on the readings; a poster presentation of the small group study; and a proposal for an epidemiologic study of the student's choosing. Keywords: epidemiology, public health, health disparities, data science
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

For a searchable spreadsheet of CHS Ever-Approved Courses, see HERE.

You can download this document and search for regularly offered courses that have been approved to fullfil CHS certificate requirements. Search by campus, subject or number, as well as by each of the CHS requirement categories.

If you would like to fulfill a CHS requirement with a course that is not included on the ever-approved CHS course list, please contact your campus certificate advisor to request special permission and discuss your course options. You and your advisor can petition to add a course to the Ever Approved Course list with the Course Petition Form (below).

For a course to fulfill a CHS requirement, at least 30% of the content should be devoted to topics in human health. If you would like to suggest a course for the ever-approved course list, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CHS certificate is a way to express a unifying thread in your undergraduate coursework. It enables students to demonstrate a multidisciplinary breadth that goes beyond a specific major. Pre-health students and those interested in health careers of all kinds use the certificate to express their ability to bridge a variety of different fields and develop a profile that is relevant to our multifaceted world.

Often, the answer is "yes." If your studies have been in the culture/health/science genres, some of the classes on your transcript may already fulfill CHS requirements. It’s ideal to go into the CHS certificate with intention, but the requirements are not impossible and it’s likely any remaining courses can be completed in just 2–3 semesters.

We strongly suggest you declare your interest as early as you can and get an advisor for the program. Fill out the Declaration of Interest Form as soon as possible and download the Certificate Completion Form to keep track as you complete the requirements. Again, please contact your campus faculty advisor early in your planning to get his/her advice.

No more than three of the courses used to satisfy requirements in your major may also count toward CHS requirements. The remaining four of the seven courses must be from departments outside of your major.

We work with the offices of the registrars at each campus to make sure the certificate appears on transcripts of graduating CHS students as long as there is space (some schools only will include 2–3 credentials on the transcript; check your campus rules). We also send out physical certificates each July to that year's graduates.

CHS professors often hold spots in their classes for qualified Five College students. Check to make sure you have fulfilled the prerequisites for the class. It's a good idea to contact the professor early to let her/him know that you hope to use the course to satisfy a CHS requirement. Use the cross-registration procedures set up by your registrar to make sure that you are formally enrolled in the course.

Not necessarily. It is recommended, but not required, for students to study beyond their home campuses. CHS is an inter-campus, interdisciplinary program; this is one of our greatest strengths. For that reason, we encourage students to take advantage of the wide variety of health-related courses available on the five campuses in the consortium.

The independent project requirement allows students to design and carry out a health-related project suited to their own particular interests. The project can take the form of a summer or January-term internship, a substantial research paper for a course, laboratory research, a Hampshire Division III project, an independent study or an honors thesis. It's a good idea to consult with your campus faculty advisor about your plans. A report explaining how your particular project contributed to your knowledge of human health may be required.

Foreign language study is not explicitly required in order to earn the certificate.  However, taking four semesters of a foreign language (or the equivalent) is recommended for the CHS certificate. Languages other than English are beneficial for those applying for international internships, graduate programs, and many jobs.

Review your certificate completion form and an unofficial copy of your transcript with your CHS advisor by the date listed on the checklist form. If your advisor agrees you have completed the requirements, the advisor will sign the form and send it to the CHS Steering Committee.  At the end of each semester, the CHS Steering Committee reviews all completed forms and makes a final determination as to whether the certificate will be awarded. The certificate award is noted on the student's transcript by the student's home campus registrar. A hard copy of the certificate is mailed to the address on the checklist form, normally in July.

There is no grade requirement, but you must pass a course to count it toward the certificate. 

Online courses can be counted toward the certificate if the policy of your home institution allows you to count online courses toward your degree, and with the approval of your CHS campus advisor.

No.

If you want to have a course from another college or university count toward the Certificate, consult with your campus faculty advisor. Your advisor will want to see a copy of the course description, syllabus and any work you completed for the course. The advisor may use his/her discretion, in consultation with the CHS Steering Committee, to decide whether the course will qualify for your CHS Certificate requirements.

Visit the the CHS Email List page for more information and to sign up.

Send announcements of health-related events and opportunities to chs-director-l@amherst.edu. We will be happy to post notices of relevant health-related events!

Please contact us at chs-director-l@amherst.edu.

Samya Rose Stumo

Remembering Samya Rose Stumo

Samya Stumo died tragically on the Ethiopian airlines flight that crashed near Addis Ababa on March 10, 2019. Her loss is a tragedy to her family and all who knew her. 

Reading List compiled by CHS Faculty

A Fine Balance, Rohinson Mistry

A Personal Matter, Kenzaburō Ōe

Being Mortal, Atul Gawande

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett

Beyond the Blossoming Fields, Junichi Watanabe

Blindness, Doris Lessing

Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, Yu Hua

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell

Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese

Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer

Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann

Lissa: A Story about Medical Promise, Friendship and Revolution, Sherine Hamdy (graphic novel)

Men We Reaped: A Memoir, Jesmyn Ward

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides

Midwifes, Chris Bohjalian
Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder

People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks

Pregnancy Diary, Yoko Ogawa

Salvage the Bone, Jesmyn Ward

Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh

Siebold’s Daughter, Akira Yoshimura

Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, Kenzaburō Ōe

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz

The Doctor’s Wife, Sawako Ariyoshi

The Four-Gated City, Doris Lessing

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

The History of Love, Nicole Krauss

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

The Lemon Tree, Sandy Tolan

The Little Red Chairs, Edna O’Brien

The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson

The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession along the Rio Grande, Angela Garcia

The Round House, Louise Erdich

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman

The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Tiger’s Wife, Téa Obreht

The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga

The Winter Vault, Anne Michaels

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

Wit, Margaret Edson

Zeitoun, Dave Eggers

Contact Us

Questions? Want more information?

Contact: chs-director-l@amherst.edu

Program Director:

Amanda Seaman, Professor of Japanese, UMass Amherst

Program Assistant:

Kelly Zhang

Five College Staff Liaison:

Rebecca Thomas, Academic Programs Coordinator

Connect:

For regular updates, join the CHS email list!

Follow CHS on Facebook!