Medical Humanities: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Medicine and Society

This course will introduce students to the Medical Humanities, an interdisciplinary research field that acknowledges questions of health and illness as related in the first place to the experience of being human, and hence deserving to be studied beyond a mere biomedical viewpoint.

What can history, philosophy, art, or literature teach us about health, disease, practices, and policies of care? How can humanities have an impact on medical practice and vice-versa? 

Through the analysis of a wide variety of sources (novels, essays, art-works, graphic-novels, movies), we will examine how arts and humanities offer different ways of thinking about health, illness, healing, and care, which are complementary rather than opposed to the scientific ones. 

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Corinne Doria:

Corinne Doria obtained a Ph.D. in Modern History at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University (France) and the University of Milan (Italy). From 2014 to 2018, she was a Lecturer at Sorbonne University. In 2019, she was a Senior Research Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University (New York). A specialist in the social history of medicine and disability, Dr. Doria's work focuses on the history of ophthalmology and visual impairment. Her research interests also include the field of medical humanities. She has published four books, eighteen peer-reviewed articles, and ten book chapters. During the last three years, she has been awarded research fellowships and grants from several prestigious European and American institutions: Columbia University (USA), the Corning Museum of Glass (USA), the Deutsches Museum (Munich, Germany), and the Scientific Instrument Society (London, UK).