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We All Have Our Stories: Literature and Medicine, Harvard University

online resource
posted on 2022-07-06, 16:21 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
Stories are the heart of medicine. In this course we will read, hear, watch, and write stories that can help us make sense of the experiences we confront as healers: pain, loss, fear, alienation, compassion, wonder, and transformation. Through selected short stories, poems, podcasts, essays, and other narratives, as well as through our own writing, we will reflect on the power of narrative to enlarge our empathy and sense of identity, foster connection and communication, and fortify our competence as guardians of our patients’ and each other’s stories. Authors will include short works by “classic” authors such as Kafka, Wharton, and Tolstoy as well as contemporary voices such as Roxane Gay, Ken Liu, and Nancy Mairs. This course is elective, non-credit-bearing. 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

New England

University or College

Harvard University

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

We All Have Our Stories: Literature and Medicine

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Medical Ethics & Professionalism faculty, Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Academic Year(s) Active

2021/22, 2022/23

Primary Works on Reading List

Works by Kafka, Wharton, Tolstoy, Roxane Gay, Ken Liu, and Nancy Mairs.

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