Courses: Improving Mankind (FRENB275001)

Fall 2013

Class Number: 1252
At first sight, hygiene and eugenics have nothing in common: the former is usually conceived as a good management of our everyday conditions of life, whereas the later are commonly reviled for having inspired discriminatory practices (in Nazi Germany, but also in the US, Sweden, and Switzerland). Our inquiry will explore how, in the context of the French Enlightenment, a subdiscipline of Medicine (namely Hygiene) was redefined, expanded its scope, and eventually became hegemonic both in the medical field and in the civil society. We will also explore how and why a philanthropic ideal led to the quest for the improvement of the human species. We will compare the French situation with that of other countries (mainly UK and the USA). Prerequisites: French Majors must have taken FREN B102; Students who wish to get credit in French will meet one extra hour TBD.
Div: III; Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI), Inquiry into the Past (IP);
Course open to all students. Part of the Protect the Public Health
360; 360 Description: Themes such as the place and power of
government and interest groups and the need for building and
supporting a public health infrastructure (a clear responsibility of
national and state governments) will reverberate throughout the three
courses. To apply, complete the application by April 10th at noon:

Fulfills: Class Nbr: 1252 Div: III; CI;IP;


French (Web site)

Taught By

Le Menthéour,Rudy


Bryn Mawr, EHI

Meeting Times

TTH 9:45am-11:15am,TTH 0:00am-0:00am