Medical Humanities (Minor)

Department Website

Program Description

Medical humanities is an emerging field that uses the methods of humanistic inquiry to engage the discourses of medicine, health, and medical science. This minor is based in the Department of English and draws on many other departments in Arts and Science. For all students, a medical humanities approach offers modes of scholarly inquiry and possibilities for reflection on the complex interplay of biology, narrative, and human history. This multidisciplinary discourse provides ways of considering and reconsidering illness, health, healing, trauma, birth, death, and disability, and offers new ways of looking at history, society, literature and culture, and technology. The field is energized by scholarly research and pedagogical approaches designed to enrich professional training in medical and health careers and encourage self-reflection and emotional support for medical students and practitioners. Through the medical humanities, we explore perspectives on human bodies and what becomes of them, and also how human minds formulate and tell those stories individually and collectively.

The minor also provides an opportunity for students to study with a wide array of Arts and Science faculty whose research interests examine medicine through the lenses of the humanities, arts, and social sciences. While taking courses at a global site is not a requirement, the medical humanities minor includes  a global studies component that enables students to make academic progress on the minor while participating in a study-away experience.

Minor Declaration

To declare a minor in medical humanities, contact the director of the minor, Prof. Perri Klass ( or the undergraduate administrator, Ms. Mary Mezzano (