Narratives of Illness and Healing


Spring 2019

Mondays, 7-8:30 PM, Keohane 4B 402SEM

This House Course utilizes narrative medicine and the medical humanities as a focal point through which students can gain a deeper understanding of the nuances in health care provider-patient communicative relationships. The medical humanities address the importance of engaging with subjectivities such as experiences, emotions, and attitudes in medicine via arts and humanities disciplines to promote health, wellbeing, and affiliation. Engaging with the stories of patients and health care providers opens the possibility of effectively recognizing, internalizing, and acting on the stories of others.

Throughout this course, we will discuss medical and health-related stories. We will examine a variety of topics as well, such as power dynamics, conflict, and trust between doctors and patients, gender in medicine, cross-cultural narratives, and so on. The course will also explore the diverse media through which medical narratives are expressed, including literature, graphics, poetry, oral storytelling, and even video games. By the end of the semester, students should be able to think critically about the incorporation and application of storytelling in medicine and our daily lives.

 This course will primarily consist of interactive lectures, group discussion, and guest speakers, including Dr. Deborah Jenson, co-director of the Health Humanities Lab (HHL), Dr. John Vaughn, director of Student Health and core faculty associate of the HHL, and more. This course is a follow-up to the HHL-sponsored Narrative Medicine Mondays from the fall semester.

  • Megan Jiao,
  • Charlaine Chen,
  • Deborah Jenson, Romance Studies
Class Limit: