2023-2024 Catalog

RELS 239 Envisioning and Enacting Health Justice

We all want to build a socially just community and we believe that our health, as well as that of our family, friends, and neighbors, is a vital component of such a community. At the same time, we also recognize that what justice requires is complex and contested. This interdisciplinary course will first help students conceptualize what justice looks like within the realm of health and medicine through a series of case studies from the ancient Mediterranean and the United States contexts. Through these case studies—which will include a focus on public health, the patient-provider relationship, reproductive health, and end-of-life care—we will scrutinize the conceptual framing of health justice in the past, as well as the health justice foundations of contemporary practices, policies, and institutions. At the end of the semester, we will also give students the opportunity to envision a better way forward, and to begin to enact their vision. Students will design their own social justice final project on a topic of their choice. 

This course is part of the Humanities for Just Communities Immersive semester. Students wishing to enter into careers in the health professions—whether as physicians, researchers, or policy experts—are especially encouraged to enroll.


4 units

Cross Listed Courses

PHIL 239



Core Requirements Met

  • Global Connections
  • Pre-1800