Humanities Institute

Narrative Medicine: Close Reading, Expressive Writing

During the Spring 2017 and 2018 academic terms, the Humanities Institute hosted a new working group for first-year Dell Medical students. Narrative Medicine: Close Reading, Expressive Writing brought together Dell Medical School students interested in adopting a more humanistic approach to medicine and practices of comprehensive care. Sponsored by UT-Austin’s Humanities Institute and inspired by Dr. Rita Charon’s work in Narrative Medicine, the group met for two hours one Saturday a month during the spring 2017 academic term.

Phillip Barrish, Professor of English at UT, co-director of the symposium Health, Medicine, and Literature, and Humanities Institute Faculty Fellow, led medical students in two focal activities: (1) close-reading short literary texts that relate to issues of health, medicine, and care and (2) expressive writing that draws from students’ own experiences and perspectives. Little to no out-of-class work will be involved. 

Narrative Medicine: Close Reading, Expressive Writing is an initial foray into what we hope will be a sustained program. Check here for updates on working groups in Spring 2019.