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TCID 345 Rhetorics of Health, Medicine, and Social Justice

This course is informed by the rhetorics of health and medicine, an interdisciplinary field that attends to how language and symbols are used in public health, medicine, nursing, and communities. Understanding how contemporary language plays a powerful role in healthcare and communities¿especially with regard to health equity, health access, and inclusion¿is the central focus of this course. The language we examine and the power that language enacts includes patient-provider communication, pharmaceutical advertising, government-sponsored communication, and health literacy. We analyze, critique, and design deliverables such as case safety narratives, clinical study reports, patient materials, websites, package inserts, and decision aids. In this course, we attend to reproductive justice, women¿s health, and disability, as well as how racist, transphobic, and homophobic rhetorics manifest in health documents in order to examine and/ or propose alternative rhetorical strategies that move us toward justice, equity, and access.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 15, 2022 to present

Learning outcomes


  • Students will be able to analyze and discuss the relationship between rhetoric, health, medicine, and social justice.
  • Students will be able to critically analyze the effects of intersectional adversities experienced by multiply marginalized people in healthcare.
  • Students will be able to assess reproductive justice challenges within institutional relationships and intersectional adversities.
  • Students will synthesize quantitative and qualitative scholarship and research on a relevant topic in order to strengthen critical advocacy capacities for healthcare justice.
  • Students will be able to analyze technical and professional communication artifacts (e.g., package inserts, websites, decision aids, etc.) using rhetorical theory in order to recognize how racist, transphobic, homophobic, and sexist language may be revised.
  • After identifying a local, state, or global health issue relevant to a technical document, students will be able to critically analyze the issue and develop a social-justice focused intervention.

Fall 2022

Section Title Instructor
50 Rhetorics of Health, Medicine, and Social Justice Moeggenberg, Zarah Catherine Books Course details