For Professor Wilken's class, you will compose a 1500-word term paper that incorporates either an ethnographic or ethnological approach.
1) Ethnographic approach
This is a case study, or a medical ethnography, of a healer. Based on interviews with a healer (curandero/a, medicine person, physician, nurse, social worker, herbalist, traditional practitioner, etc.), and if possible, participant/observation in the culture of the healer, your ethnography will explore such concepts as world view, causation, recruitment, diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Interview questions will guide your ethnography; it is a good idea to list these in your research proposal (due in week five). Your paper will include the most relevant information from the interview(s). For direct quotes from the person interviewed, you will need to use proper punctuation per Chicago Manual of Style. You will provide an overall context for the type of healing that the person does; this will require some ethnological research, in which you summarize information based on a minimum of three references from scholarly sources. This provides background information, a framework that places your interview and participant/observation in a wider, cross cultural context, however it will not be as in-depth as approach #2.
2) Ethnological approach
This project involves research based on the cross-cultural comparison of existing ethnographic data (anthropological studies of world cultures). To provide background, you may also use historical, biological, medical or other types of documents. This will require academic research rather than participant observation in the field. You will relate the subject to some of the concepts we have been studying in class, such as the relationship of the healing practices to the cultures in which they are practiced, including their economic, political and religious systems. Depending on your subject, you may explore world view, concepts of causation, diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Your paper should include a minimum of six references from scholarly sources.
Some possible subjects for ethnological research projects include:
* Chinese Medicine
* Ayurvedic Medicine
* History of Biomedicine
* Humoral medicine
* Complementary and Alternative Medicine
* Physical fitness and health
* Psychological and psychiatric healers and healing practices cross-culturally
* Social and/or cultural healers and healing practices cross-culturally
* The arts and healing
If you have research ideas other than the ones listed above, please consult with Professor Wilken.