Routledge Handbook of the Medical Humanities  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of the Medical Humanities

Edited By

Bleakley Alan

ISBN 9780815374619
Published August 23, 2019 by Routledge
468 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This authoritative new handbook offers a comprehensive and cutting-edge overview of the state of the medical humanities globally, showing how clinically oriented medical humanities, the critical study of medicine as a global historical and cultural phenomenon, and medicine as a force for cultural change can inform each other.

Composed of eight parts, the Routledge Handbook of the Medical Humanities looks at the medical humanities as:

  • a network and system
  • therapeutic
  • provocation
  • forms of resistance
  • a way of reconceptualising the medical curriculum
  • concerned with performance and narrative
  • mediated by artists as diagnosticians of culture through public engagement.

This book describes how the medical humanities can be used in and out of clinical settings, acting as a point of resistance, redistributing medicine’s capital amongst its stakeholders, embracing the complexity of medical instances, shaping medical education, promoting interdisciplinary understandings and recognising an identity for the medical humanities as a network effect. This book is an essential read for all students, scholars and practitioners with an interest in the medical humanities.

Table of Contents


The Medical Humanities: A Mixed Weather Front on a Global Scale

Alan Bleakley

Medical humanities as networks, systems and translations

1 A Dose of Empathy from my Syrian Doctor

Randi Davenport

2 The Cultural Crossings of Care: A Call for Translational Medical Humanities

Julia Kristeva, Marie Rose Moro, John Ødemark, Eivind Engebretsen

3 Medical Work in Transition: Toward Collaborative and Transformative Expertise

Yrjö Engeström

4 Health, Health Care and Health Education: Problems, Paradigms, and Patterns

Stewart Mennin, Glenda Eoyang, Mary Nations

Democratising medicine: the medical humanities as forms of resistance

5 The State of the Union: Rigour and Responsibility in US Health Humanities

Tess Jones, Delese Wear

6 The Cutting Edge: Health Humanities for Equity and Social Justice

Arno Kumagai, Thirusha Naidu

7 Geography as Engaged Medical-Health-Humanities

Courtney Donovan, Sarah de Leeuw

8 Challenging Heteronormativity in Medicine

William J Robertson

9 Medical Nemesis 40 Years On: The Enduring Legacy of Ivan Illich

Seamus O’Mahony

10 Hospitaland

Jefferson Wong

Medicine’s metaphors and rhetoric

11 Don’t Breathe a Word: A Psychoanalysis of Medicine’s Inflations

Alan Bleakley

12 Metaphor as Art – A Thought Experiment

Anita Wohlmann

13 The Practice of Metaphor

Shane Neilson

14 Medical Slang: Symptom or Solution?

Nicole M Piemonte

15 Ageism and Rhetoric

Judy Z Segal

16 The Rhetorical Possibilities of a Multi-metaphorical View of Clinical Supervision

Lorelei Lingard, Mark Goldszmidt

17 Narratives of Anti-Vaccination

Katherine Shwetz

18 Thought Curfew: Empathy’s Endgame?

David Cotterrell

Medicine as performance and public engagement

19 The Performing Arts in Medicine and Medical Education

Claire Hooker, James Dalton

20 A Manifesto for Artists’ Books & the Medical Humanities

Stella Bolaki

21 Grasping Emergency Care through Pop Culture: The Truths and Lies of Film, Television

and Other Video Based Media

Henry Curtis

22 Who is the Audience for Medical/ Health Humanities?

Suzy Willson, Pamela Brett-Maclean, Bella Eacott

23 Desire Imagination Action: Theatre of the Oppressed in Medical Education

Ravi Ramaswamy, Radha Ramaswamy

24 Zombie Sickness: Contagious Ideas in Performance

Martin O’Brien, Gianna Bouchard

25 The Masks of Uncertainty

Cara Martin

Embodiment and disembodiment

26 Nobody’s Home

Susan Bleakley

27 Ecstasy

Alphonso Lingis

28 Relationships that Matter: Embodying Absent Kinships in the Japanese Child Welfare


Kathryn E Goldfarb

29 Still Alice? Ethical Aspects of Conceptualising Selfhood in Dementia

Kristin Zeiler, Lisa Folkmarson Käll

30 Body Maps: Reframing Embodied Experiences through Ethnography and Art

Cari Costanzo

31 Perspectives on Olfaction in Medical Culture

Crispian Neill

The medical humanities in medical education

32 The ‘Awe-full’ Fascination of Pathology

Quentin Eichbaum, Gil Pena, Leonard White, Gwinyai Masukume

33 Balancing Bioethics by Sensing the Aesthetic

Paul Macneill

34 Medical Humanities Online: Experiences from South Africa

Steve Reid, Susan Levine

35 "Your effort was great/ You carried me nine months": The Birth of Medical Humanities

in Ethiopia

Part I: ‘Your effort was great’

Ian Fussell

Part II: Spices and Hard Questions

Robert Marshall

36 Medical Humanities in Canadian Medical Schools: Progress, Challenges and


Allan Peterkin, Natalie Beausoleil, Monica Kidd, Bahar Orang, Hesam Noroozi,

Pamela Brett-MacLean

The patient will see you now

37 Can We Make Empathy More Intelligent? Try Social Empathy!

Caroline Wellbery

38 A Letter from Marijke Boucherie to Alan Bleakley

Marijke Boucherie

39 Health Humanities: A Democratising Future Beyond Medical Humanities

Paul Crawford, Brian Brown

40 Doctors Need Safe Confessional and Cathartic Spaces. What We Learned From the

Research Project: ‘People Talking: Digital Dialogues for Mutual Recovery’

Jon Allard, Michael Wilson, Alan Bleakley

41 All Thanks to the Words of a Stranger (an homage to the UK’s National Health Service)

Sophie Holloway

Overview: celebrating the Persian Flaw

42 Negotiating Research in the Medical Humanities

Maria Athina (Tina) Martimianakis, Ayelet Kuper, Cynthia Whitehead

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Alan Bleakley is Emeritus Professor of Medical Education and Medical Humanities at Plymouth University’s Peninsula School of Medicine, UK, and Visiting Scholar at the Wilson Centre, University of Toronto, Canada. He is immediate past president of the Association for Medical Humanities Council.