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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Featured Courses - Fall 2014

Anth 4000/5000 – Special Topics: Political Ecology of Health

Dr. Marty Otañez
Wednesday, 2:00-4:50pm

Political ecology of health is a scholar activist approach that integrates medical anthropology, political economy and environmental justice to improve health in marginalized communities. Intellectuals (e.g. students and instructor) in solidarity with neighborhood members critically engage in wellness issues to alter power relations and influence policies about health for communities and natural environments. Social scientists and community leaders seek to reduce conflicts over and find solutions to food deficits, health disparities, environmental racists practices and human rights violations that disproportionately impact disenfranchized individuals and communities.


The class is designed as a creative workshop and participants will conduct engaged anthropology, an approach that prioritizes arts-based experiential learning through socially relevant, ethnographic research and practice. Students and the instructor will perform a fieldwork project using visual strategies (e.g. ethnographic video, documentary video, digital storytelling, photo voice project, montage video, website, blog, spoken word, graphic novel, art exhibit) with a community group that will prompt theoretical, methodological and ethical insights on doing anthropological work in places and spaces that the university is designed to serve.
Otanez video for featured course