The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities

1st Edition

Edited by Paul Crawford, Brian Brown, Andrea Charise


448 pages

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Hardback: 9781138579903
pub: 2020-03-10
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The health humanities is a rapidly rising field, advancing an inclusive, democratizing, activist, applied, critical and culturally diverse approach to delivering health and wellbeing 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 wellbeing.
  • Informs and drives better healthcare.
  • 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 wellbeing 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.

Brian Brown

2. The Applicability of the Arts and Humanities

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

Peter Meineck

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

Susan Merrill Squier

10. Medicine within Health Humanities

Gail Allsopp

11. The Sublime Health Humanities

Bradley Lewis

12. Visualising within Health Care Practice

Colin Macduff

13. The Health Humanities and 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: Problematising the Dependence on Metrics for Patient Care in the US

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/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. Applied Language and Theater

Rick Iedema

29. Gallery or Museum Visiting

Javier Saavedra

30. Literature

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 Maurice Davis and Josie Billington

37. Dancing

Sara Houston

38. Masks

Peter Meineck

39. Puppetry

Cariad Astles and Marina Tsaplina

40. Drawing

Curie Scott

41. Papermaking

Drew Luan Matott and Gretchen Miller

42. Making Music

Rosie Perkins, Daisy Fancourt and Aaron Williamon

43. Music Listening

Claire Garabedian

44. Clay Modelling

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 Theater

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

About the Editors

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

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

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.

About the Series

Routledge Literature Companions

Field-defining volumes in new and exciting areas of literary studies. These volumes are ideal introductions for beginners, or handy volumes for those already working in the field: summarising current scholarship, whilst pushing the boundaries of emerging trends they are must-have collections.

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