Why Teach Literature and Medicine? Answers from Three Decades

Anne Hudson Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    In this essay, I look back at some of the earliest attempts by the first generation of literature-and-medicine scholars to answer the question: Why teach literature and medicine? Reviewing the development of the field in its early years, I examine statements by practitioners to see whether their answers have held up over time and to consider how the rationales they articulated have expanded or changed in the following years and why. Greater emphasis on literary criticism, narrative ethics, narrative theory, and reflective writing has influenced current work in the field in ways that could not have been foreseen in the 1970s. The extraordinary growth of interest and work in the field nationally and, especially since 1996, internationally has included practitioners in many additional areas such as disability studies, film studies, therapeutic writing, and trauma studies. Along with the emergence of narrative medicine, this diverse community of scholars and practitioners-affiliated more through their use of narrative methodologies than the teaching of literature-makes the perennial challenge of evaluation and assessment even more complicated.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)415-428
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Medical Humanities
    Volume34
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

    Keywords

    • Literature and medicine
    • Medical education
    • Medical ethics
    • Medical humanities
    • Moral inquiry
    • Narrative ethics
    • Narrative medicine

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Health Policy

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