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ENG-411-20, Top/Lit: Health & Healing (SP15)

INSTRUCTOR: Shelley Puhak

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Semester/Thursdays/6-8:45 pm, 01/29/2015-05/14/2015

CONTENT:

Virginia Woolf once wrote that it was “strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.” Her statement may no longer hold true, given recent intersections between health and literature: medical literary journals, “narrative medicine” courses in medical schools, and therapeutic uses of medical testimony. This course focuses upon contemporary literature written by and about health care workers and patients.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

-Students will read and write about short stories, poems, and personal essays, discovering common themes and symbols in illness narratives.

-Students will contemplate the ethics of literary representations of health and healing.

-Students will discuss and write about voice, point of view, and power relationships, from both patients’ and providers’ perspectives.

METHODS:

Class discussion and lecture.

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS: 

5 Reaction Papers @ 10% ea - 50%

1 Class Presentation - 10%

Class Participation - 20%

Final Paper - 20%

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS: 

  • The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, Ed Danielle Ofri. 2008.
  • Woolf, Virginia. On Being Ill. Paris Press, 1st Ed, 2002.
  • course pack (available on Joule)

RECOMMENDED READINGS OR MATERIALS:

N/A

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Please bring the required texts to our first class session.