2018 - Spring: Journalism Seminar: Death in America – How Will You Die?

Day & Time: Mon
Location: 726 Broadway Room 542
Course ID: JOUR-UA 401.001
Syllabus: Download

How will you die? Suddenly, by heart attack? Early–in your 30s, 40s or 50s–after two rounds of chemotherapy? In a hospital bed, unconscious, maybe even brain dead, after being kept alive by a feeding tube? At the age of 85 after years of increasing dementia and frailty? This course will examine how death is understood and represented in American culture. Readings will include scholarly and popular works such as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and Sherwin Nuland’s classic, How We Die, as well as various pieces of longform nonfiction. The course will also examine aging and end of life ailments in TV and film. We will discuss questions surrounding the role of doctors, religion, economics and politics in end of life care, as well as the ethical issues pertaining to policymaking for the dying. Issues will include: legalization of assisted suicide, hospice care, and end of life planning; and the theoretical and legal concepts of “choice,” “dignity,” “quality of life” and “autonomy.”
Students will be expected to complete weekly writing assignments of 500 words (2 double spaced pages) that focus on current issues. A mid-term writing assignment of 1,000 to 1,500 words (4 to 6 pages) will lead to a final reported/researched project of approximately 3,500 words (12 to 14 pages).


Same as RELST-UA 270