Mental Health and Mental Illness through Literature and the Arts (Gen Ed 1144)





How have mental illness and mental health been understood across time and space, and how have literature and the arts both perpetuated and undermined stigmas against individuals with mental illness?


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Karen Thornber

Mental health experts believe that globally, more than 1 billion people have a mental illness.  And yet the biases and misperceptions surrounding mental illness, not to mention the dehumanization and abuse in many communities of individuals with a mental illness, remains acute.  This course uses literature and the arts to help students learn about more about some of the prevalent biases/misperceptions/myths/stigmas against individuals with mental illness and how these biases can be (or in the past have been) ameliorated.

Weekly assignments combine readings of literature/film screenings, etc. with a range of secondary sources.  For the final project, students have the option of a traditional paper or a creative project.  The course will include visits to the Harvard Art Museums and other local resources. 

Register for Gen Ed 1144