Healing Illness Stories


Course Title

Healing Illness Stories

Course Description

What does it mean to heal? How does culture influence healing, and vice-versa? Do stories help us heal? What might we learn from the structure of stories that may help us understand the structure of healing itself? This course focuses on narratives about illness and recovery in multiple genres: memoir, graphic novel, poetry, fiction, essay, and film. It asks what the relationship is, if any, of narrative to healing. Through reading, analysis, and creative writing, and by drawing upon the fields of literature and the practice of medicine, students will grapple with the power of stories to illuminate and complicate the experience of illness, trauma, disability, and caregiving. These materials will also shed light on the history and potential of the rapidly growing field of Health Humanities.

Course Level

Instructor Name

Course Topics

Disciplinary Perspectives

Geographic Location

Stanford, CA

Instructional Modality

Institutional Location


Healing Illness Stories