SOAS University of London

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Cultural Approaches to Health, Climate Change and the Environment

Module Code:
155900947
Credits:
15
FHEQ Level:
5
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 2

This module takes the specific topics of health, well-being, embodiment, resilience, human relations to the environment and questions of climate change and views and analyses them through the lens of culture studies. The module is team taught by lectures with expertise in language-based cultural studies with reference to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, whose research and teaching incorporates a focus on areas of health and well-being such as HIV-AIDS, cancer, Covid-19, public health discourses and their relation to difference cultural perspectives on embodiment. The module interweaves these concerns into the study of the need for human resilience in response to current global crises, first and foremost among which are questions of environmental destruction and climate change. The module concludes with an emphasis on the need for cross-cultural communication and intercultural understanding for global collaboration to find effective solutions to the problems of our times.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will:

  1. have become familiar with key debates around the questions of health, well-being, embodiment, resilience, environment and climate change through the lens of cultural studies and with reference to Asia, Africa and the Middle East

  2. have understood the importance of culture, cultural understanding, and cultural difference in the approach to solving the problems of our times in relation to health and climate change.
  3. have critically analysed different framings of these key topics and their implications to the regions studied

Scope and syllabus

Topics covered in this module will typically include the following, all based on case studies from the regions and their diasporas:

  • The relationship between culture, health and well-being, with specific examples drawn from case studies on HIV-AIDS, cancer, Covid-19 and public health discourses.
  • Specific cultural approaches to embodiment in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Specific cultural approaches to nature and the environment in the above regions.
  • Culturally inflected responses to climate change in the above regions
  • The dilemmas of understanding cultural difference as a premise to intercultural collaboration in response to contemporary global problems.

Method of assessment

  • A digital assignment (wikiedia page of 1,000 words or podcast/video of 10 minutes) 40%
  • Essay (1500 words) 60%
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules