Documentary and Memoir Workshop


Course Title

Documentary and Memoir Workshop

Course Description

Advanced students of Health Humanities already know that creative work about important contemporary issues in health can help doctors, patients, and the public understand and live
through complex experiences. But how, as health humanities practitioners, do we go about making new creative works and putting them out into the world? This upper level seminar
will explore Documentary and Memoir as a political practice, including the ethical concerns, methods, and challenge of producing new creative works. Students have an option to write a critical term paper, or to produce their own original documentary or memoir work. In this course, we explore creative works by physicians and patients, by people living with
disability, by those who have had global experiences of disaster, and more. We will look at artistic and compositional practices of documentary writing, film, and theater to draw conclusions about what makes a documentary voice compelling, and what we come to know about human experiences of health, illness, and disability through these mediated expressions. Where is the boundary between fiction and truth? What does it mean to seek to know about another’s experience, or to document and share one’s own experience? What ethical concerns do documentary and memoir practices raise? What does it mean to cultivate an artistic practice, and what kinds of decisions do documentary and memoir artists make in creating these works?

Course Level

Instructor Name

Course Topics

Disciplinary Perspectives

Geographic Location

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Instructional Modality

Institutional Location


Documentary and Memoir Workshop