The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities

ISBN 9781138579903
Published February 21, 2020 by Routledge
492 Pages

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Book Description

The health humanities is a rapidly rising field, advancing an inclusive, democratizing, activist, applied, critical, and culturally diverse approach to delivering health and well-being through the arts and humanities. It has generated new kinds of interdisciplinary research, knowledge, and communities of practice globally. It has also acted to bring greater coherence and political force to contributions across a range of related disciplines and traditions.

In this volume, a formidable set of authors explore the history, current state, and future of the health humanities, in particular how its vision of the arts and humanities:

  • Promotes creative public health.
  • Opens new routes to health and well-being.
  • Informs and drives better health care.
  • Interrogates relationships between ill health and social equality.
  • Develops humanist theory in relation to health and social care practice.
  • Foregrounds cultural difference as a resource for positive change in society.
  • Tests the humanity of an increasingly globalized health-care system.
  • Looks to overcome structural and process obstacles to cross-disciplinary ventures.
  • Champions co-construction, co-design, and mutuality in solving health and well-being challenges.
  • Showcases less familiar, prominent, or celebrated creative practices.
  • Includes multiple perspectives on the value and health benefits of the arts and humanities not limited to or dominated by medicine.

Divided into two main sections, the Companion looks at "Reflections and Critical Perspectives," offering current thinking and definitions within health humanities, and "Applications," comprising a wide selection of applied arts and humanities practices from comedy, writing, and dancing to yoga, cooking, and horticultural display.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Global Health Humanities and the Rise of Creative Public Health

Paul Crawford


1. The Health Humanities, Genealogies of Health Care, and the Consolation of Understanding: Towards a Critique of “Recovery” in Mental Health 

Brian Brown

2. On Applying the Arts and Humanities in Austere Times

Andrea Charise

3. Creative Practices in Challenging Places

Emma Joyes and Charley Baker

4. Visionary Medicine: Race, Health, Power, and Speculation

Sayantani DasGupta

5. Digital Life and Health Humanities

Olivia Banner

6. The Palimpsest: Black and Ethnic Minority Perspectives in Health Humanities

Nehal El-Hadi

7. Representations of Medical and Health Delivery Paradigms

Phillip Barrish

8. Post-Conflict Reconciliation and the Health Humanities: The Warrior Chorus Program

Peter Meineck

9. Comics and Graphic Medicine as a Third Space for the Health Humanities

Susan M. Squier

10. Medicine within Health Humanities

Gail Allsopp

11. A Health Humanities Sublime

Bradley Lewis

12. Visualizing within Health-Care Practice

Colin Macduff

13. The Health Humanities and the Creative Disciplines

Victoria Tischler

14. Co-Design as a Democratizing Force

Alastair Macdonald

15. Indigenous Health Humanities

Allison Crawford, Lisa Boivin and Lisa Richardson

16. Accessibility and Advocacy in Health Humanities

Susan Levy

17. The Role of the Imagination in the Practices of the Health Humanities

Marina Tsaplina and Raymond Barfield

18. Inventing Edward Jenner: Historicizing Anti-Vaccination

Travis Chi Wing Lau

19. Selling the De-Pharmaceuticalization of Insomnia: Semiotics, Drug Advertising, and the Social Life of Belsomra

Lorenzo Servitje

20. The Problem With "Burnout": Neoliberalisation, Biomedicine, and Other Soul Mates

Shane Neilson

21. Medical Poetics: Representing Global Health Humanities and the Case of 心

Lan A. Li

22. Creative Arts Adult Community Learning

Lydia Lewis

23. What Zombies Can Tell Us About Contemporary Health Care

Steven Schlozman

24. Finding the Subject in the Objectified: Problematizing the Dependence on Metrics for Patient Care in the United States

Brenda Hall and Paul Kadetz

25. Establishing, Promoting, and Growing the Health Humanities in Japan: A Review and a Vision for the Future

Jeffrey Huffman and Mami Inoue

26. Australia and New Zealand: A Circuitous Path to Health Humanities

Olaf Werder and Kate Holland

27. Imaginations of Health Humanities in African Contexts: The Development of Existing Critical Consciousness and Perspectives

Ikem Ifeobu


28. Intervention Theater

Rick Iedema

29. Gallery and Museum Visiting

Javier Saavedra

30. Poetry and Male Eating Disorders

Heike Bartel and Charley Baker

31. Photography

Susan Hogan

32. Fashion and Textiles

Rebecka Fleetwood-Smith

33. Classics

Peter Meineck

34. History

Anna Greenwood

35. Life-Writing

Frances Cadd

36. Reading

Philip Davis and Josie Billington

37. Dancing

Sara Houston

38. Masks

Peter Meineck

39. Puppetry

Marina Tsaplina and Cariad Astles

40. Drawing

Curie Scott

41. Papermaking

Drew Luan Matott and Gretchen M. Miller

42. Making Music

Rosie Perkins, Daisy Fancourt and Aaron Williamon

43. Shared Music Listening

Claire Garabedian

44. Clay Modeling

Elaine Argyle

45. Architecture

Santiago Quesada-Garcia and Pablo Valero-Flores

46. Digital Storytelling

Carla Rice

47. Heavy Metal Music

Charley Baker and Alex Bishop

48. Graphic Medicine

MK Czwerwiec and Brian Callender

49. Horticultural Arts

Jonathan Coope

50. Choirs and Singing

Stephen Clift

51. Ancient Texts

Christina Lee

52. Philosophy

Havi Carel

53. Capoeira

Mel Jordan, Edward J. Wright and Aimie Purser

54. Kundalina Yoga

Elvira Perez and Emily Haslam-Jones

55. Musical Composition and Vocal Expression

Brian Abrams

56. Storytelling

Alan Bleakley, Mike Wilson and Jon Allard

57. Applied Theatre

Gretchen Case and Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell 

58. Visual Arts

Victoria Tischler

59. Knitting

Betsan Corkhill

60. Therapeutic Filmmaking

J. Lauren Johnson

61. Cooking

Danny George and Tomi D. Dreibelbis 

62. Aesthetics of Space

Hilary Moss

63. Law

Lydia Bracken

64. Quilting

Jacqueline M. Atkinson

65. Sensory Design and Smart Textiles

Jenny Tillotson

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Paul Crawford is Professor of Health Humanities in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Brian Brown is Professor of Health Communication at De Montfort University, UK.

Andrea Charise is an Assistant Professor in the departments of English and Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada.


"The book is a cornucopia of riches: a repository of perspectives and practices which provoke and inspire."

Stephen Clift Professor Emeritus, Canterbury Christchurch University, United Kingdom