Instructor: Schwartz | ASYNC

How is narrative a necessary writing tool across healthcare environments and institutions? How can we analyze its relationship to health and healing across role, environment, class, culture, language, race, gender, and ability? This class investigates the crucial role of narrative in the process of how health care practitioners diagnose and heal and how we all process and grieve. We will study the concept of narrative medicine to see how stories emerge and how they are exchanged. We will also see how narratives contribute to the diagnostic process and how they are used in communities. Course topics will include an overview of the history and development of core assumptions and practices of narrative medicine across cultures; the intrinsic storytelling structure of healthcare; the narratology of research and practitioner-patient communication; critical commentary on healthcare; and community discourse. Students will experiment with their own narratives of health as exploration for well-being, moving across various genres and points of view, by engaging in formal and informal writing assignments, reflection, class discussion, individual research, artistic expression, and presentation. Ultimately, this course will explore narrative’s historical and contemporary role in medicine and healthcare, as well as the ethical consequences of their practice and production; the role of narrative in illness, healing, and grieving; and developments of individual and community-based conceptions and lived experiences of health.