Comparative Literature | Women in World Lit: Women in/and Medicine
C340 | 25704 | Prof. Vivian Halloran
class carries A&H and CS credit
This class will introduce students to the field of the medical
humanities by analyzing how women portray their roles as doctors,
nurses, patients and caregivers within the medical establishment.
Beginning with the groundbreaking work by Florence Nightingale, we
will examine how women around the world have written about their
medical experiences from both a Western and non-Western perspective.
Themes we will discuss include: how do these writers view their
ethical responsibilities to their patients? How does illness change a
patient’s, doctor’s and nurse’s view of what is important in life?
What can we learn from illness? How does gender affect one’s
experience of illness and/or the work of healing others? Among the
texts we will read are nurse memoirs by: Nightingale and her
contemporary, Mary Seacole in her Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many
Lands; doctor memoirs by Emily. R. Transue’s On Call: A Doctor’s Days
and Nights in Residency, Nawal El Saawadi’s Memoirs of a Woman Doctor,
Julia Alvarez’s novel about the development of a vaccine for smallpox,
Saving the World; Temple Grandin’s autism biography, Thinking in
Pictures; Amy Silverstein’s organ-transplant memoir, Sick Girl; and a
meditation on AIDS by a family member/caretaker, Jamaica Kincaid’s My