The Art and Science of Aging and Dying
The purpose of this course is to better understand the processes of aging and dying from both social science and humanities perspectives. Because both aging and dying are culturally bound, they have a profound influence on the expression of societies’ feelings. We will take a multidisciplinary perspective, combining social and behavioral science information (using a biopsychosocial approach) and the way in which American society has manifested its anxiety over aging and death in its arts as well as sciences.
The course will include an overview of the biomedical aspects of aging and dying, the social and psychological impact of these components of life, as well as the clinical outcomes of aging and dying in an aging society. In addition, film (and possibly literature and poetry) will serve as the lens through which we can see the impact of aging and dying on the arts.
Requirements include weekly response papers about the readings, a midterm and a final research paper.