The course is designed to introduce students to the concepts, approaches, methods, and goals of medical anthropology. In doing so we will undertake an examination of the interplay between biology and culture and how health, illness, medicine and therapy exist in different cultures. Central to this concern is the idea that culture plays a central role in definitions of health and illness. After establishing a base for examining and defining medical anthropology, as well as taking a look at health, illness, and medicine within a range of different cultures, we will take a closer look at health issues in North America. There will also be particular emphasis on the diversity (plurality) of therapeutic and philosophical approaches to the body and medicine, and how these are culturally infused and reflective. This latter point will involve a critical analysis of biomedicine and various alternative therapies currently in practice in North America.