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Pathographies of Mental Illness, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston-McGovern.pdf (126.87 kB)

Pathographies of Mental Illness, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (McGovern)

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posted on 2022-07-06, 16:21 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
What is it like to be mentally ill? How can we best care for sufferers of mental illness as well as their families and friends? To answer these questions, we turn to sufferers and their loved ones, as this course focuses on experiential (auto)biographical works that concern mental illness—an intellectual enterprise in medical humanities sometimes referred to as “pathography.” The class will consist of 11 sessions. These sessions will focus on the class readings. Each class meeting will be discussion-based, not lectured-based—that is, the class meetings will be conducted as a humanities-style graduate seminar. UTH, Houston (McGovern) also sponsors blue book, or extracurricular, electives each semester. These electives are designed to supplement and enrich the medical school’s curriculum, exposing students to a range of topics related to the humanities and ethics. Some electives are faculty-led; however, a growing number of these courses are designed by medical students who have identified topics of interest or gaps that can be addressed through the medical humanities. Relevant courses that use literature include: Introduction to Medical Humanities, Humanities in Dermatology, and Humanities in Film. For more information, see 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

University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston (McGovern)

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)

22646; 30167

Course Title

Pathographies of Mental Illness

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)


Academic Year(s) Active

Since 2011

Course Enrolment


Primary Works on Reading List

William Styron, Darkness Visible; Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted; Kay Jamison, An Unquiet Mind; Emily Colas, Just Checking; David Sheff, Beautiful Boy; Nic Sheff, Tweak; Elyn Saks, The Center Cannot Hold; Sue Klebold and Andrew Solomon, A Mother’s Reckoning; Derf Backderf, My Friend Dahmer; Marya Hornbacher, Wasted; Alice Sebold, Lucky; Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump; Caroline Kettlewell, Skin Game Julie Gregory, Sickened; Arthur Kleinman, The Soul of Care; and Janet Mock, Redefining Realness.

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