The Rhetoric of Medicine and Health

The Rhetoric of Medicine and Health examines how rhetoric—the art of effective communication and persuasion—is used to communicate knowledge about health and medicine. This focus will frame our reading of medical and health-related discourses, as we consider how they are constructed in different genres, such as the medical report, academic articles, advertisements, film, and literature.

Throughout the course, we might examine topics such as Steven Harper’s Conservative Health Platform, the advertising strategies of pharmaceutical companies, the rhetorical representation of cosmetic surgery, as seen in shows such as The Swan and Extreme Makeover, and the representation of medicine on popular television shows, such as House and Grey’s Anatomy.

Students will be encouraged to think about and write essays on issues in health and medicine that reflect their disciplinary interest and focus.

This course will be of particular interest to students who are working in the areas of health and medicine, such as nursing, psychology, kinesiology, and neuroscience, but it will also be of interest to students in the arts, the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, as well as professional schools, such as business and education.

If you are interested in this course, or wish to know when it will be offered, please contact the Academic Writing Program.