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Law, Literature, and Medicine, Southern Methodist University-Dedman.pdf (94.27 kB)

Law, Literature, and Medicine, Southern Methodist University (Dedman)

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:22 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
Seminar for law students and medical students that provides an opportunity to read and discuss novels, poems, plays, and short stories concerning the two professions, including ethical dilemmas encountered in legal and medical practice and a variety of client and patient experiences. Readings also focus on the professional and academic aspects of the humanities in law and medicine. Students have joint assignments and projects throughout the term and are required to complete a research paper or comparable final project. Ten 3rd-year J.D. candidates and ten 4th-year M.D. candidates (from the University of Texas - Southwestern Medical School) read and discuss novels, poems, plays, and short stories for fourteen weeks. Half-way through the semester, they produce some poetry (with prompts from me). At the end of the semester, they produce artistic final projects. These have included a French horn concerto on the five stages of grief, innumerable collections of poems and short stories, paintings, collages, photo essays, etc. The general purpose is to explore the concept of professionalism through works of literature and to compare the "hidden curriculum" of the students' respective programs in terms of the values to which they are exposed. Additional important goals include: improving narrative skills and promoting empathy as a professional value. 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 Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.


Subject Area


Geographic Region

West South Central

University or College

Southern Methodist University (Dedman)

Funding Status


Endowment (according to NACUBO's U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20) ($1,000)


Annual Tuition and Mandatory Fees 2021-2022 ($) (Resident; Non-resident, where applicable)


Course Title

Law, Literature, and Medicine

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academics

Academic Year(s) Active

2000/01 through 2020/21

Course Enrolment

~ 20 (10 law students, 10 medical students)

Primary Works on Reading List

Rita Charon, Narrative and Medicine (from New England Journal of Medicine); James Boyd White, Legal Knowledge (excerpt from Harvard Law Review); Benjamin DeMott, English and the Promise of Happiness (from How We Teach); Billy Collins, "Introduction to Poetry"; John Stone, “The Truck”; Richard Reynolds & John Stone, eds., On Doctoring; John Irving, The Cider House Rules; Norval Morris, The Brothel Boy and Other Parables of the Law; Thane Rosenbaum, Law Lit; Scott Turow, Limitations; Brian Clark, Whose Life Is It Anyway?; Margaret Edson, Wit; and Margaret Wise Brown, The Runaway Bunny.

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