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Introduction to Narrative Medicine, University of Southern California (Keck)
online resourceposted on 2022-07-06, 16:21 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
This course introduces students to the field of narrative medicine, which emerges from the intersection of the humanities, literature and literary theory, and the study and practice of medicine. Echoing each other, medical doctor Rita Charon and sociologist Arthur Frank have observed that illness occasions and calls forth stories.1 This course proceeds from the understanding that people who suffer from illness often frame and make sense of their sickness or disease through narrative, through the telling of their experiences in the form of a story. If, as Arthur Kleinman argues, “the interpretation of narratives of illness experience…is a core task in the work of doctoring,” then developing narrative competence in the area of health and medicine ought to be integrated into the education and training of future health professionals.2 This course provides an opportunity for students to learn about the fundamental principles and basic concepts that underpin narrative medicine. At the same time, it aims to help students develop and hone the skills necessary to gain narrative competence through close and careful examination of theoretical and literary texts, and through the practice of narrative and reflective writing. 1 Rita Charon, Narrative Medicine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Arthur Frank, The Wounded Storyteller (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995). 2 Arthur Kleinman, The Illness Narratives (New York: Basic Books, 1988), xiii. This course forms part of a graduate master's program offered through the medical school. Almost all of the students who enrolled intended to go on to further graduate training in a health profession (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, etc.). This information has been collected for the Post-Discipline Online Syllabus Database. The database explores the use of literature by schools of professional education in North America. It forms part of a larger project titled Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities, led by Dr Merve Emre with the assistance of Dr Hayley G. Toth. You can find more information about the project at https://postdiscipline.english.ox.ac.uk/. Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.