The chief educational aim of this course is to explore the foundations of this field by asking questions that are often begged: Does studying the humanities make us more humane? How are the humanities different from the sciences? What is health? What is illness? What kind of evidence does literature provide? What is narrative and how embedded are narrative ways of thought and representation in medicine? This course starts from the assumption that the questions Medical Humanities scholars ask are best addressed from specific humanities disciplines.
Through sustained exposure to the way a variety of humanities disciplines addresses questions such as those outlined above, students will learn methods for undertaking Medical Humanities research of their own. The second aim is to introduce students to the different ways these questions appear from the standpoint of humanities’ disciplines and the standpoint of healthcare. The third aim is to familiarise students with some of the main themes and topics of Medical Humanities research. Finally, the course will introduce students to a range of research resources (archival as well as bibliographic) necessary for the study of the Medical Humanities.
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