Test Cover Image of:  Health Humanities Reader

Health Humanities Reader

Edited by: Therese Jones, Delese Wear, and Lester D. Friedman
With contributions of: Arthur W. Frank, David H. Flood, Rhonda L. Soricelli, Lisa Keränen, Michael Sappol, Shelley Wall, Martha Stoddard Holmes, Joseph N. Straus, Martin F. Norden, Lisa I. Iezzoni, Felicia Cohn, Martha Montello, John Lantos, Amy Haddad, Rebecca Garden, Mark Clark, Howard Brody, Rebecca Hester, Jack Coulehan, Rosemarie Tong, Sander L. Gilman, Bernice Hausman, Gretchen A. Case, Allen Peterkin, Alice Dreger, Marjorie Levine-Clark, Susan M. Squier, Rafael Campo, Sayantani DasGupta, Jonathan M. Metzl, Daniel Goldberg, Maren Grainger-Monsen, Thomas R. Cole, Benjamin Saxton, E. Ann Kaplan, Jerald Winakur, Bradley Lewis, Anne Hudson Jones, Michael Rowe, Ian Williams, Tod Chambers, Raymond C. Barfield, Lucy Selman, Jeffrey P. Bishop, Audrey Shafer, Catherine Belling, Paul Root Wolpe, Allison B. Kavey, Jeff Nisker, Julie M. Aultman, Michael Blackie, Erin Gentry Lamb, Alan Bleakley, and Jay Baruch
Foreword by: Mark Vonnegut
Over the past forty years, the health humanities, previously called the medical humanities, has emerged as one of the most exciting fields for interdisciplinary scholarship, advancing humanistic inquiry into bioethics, human rights, health care, and the uses of technology. It has also helped inspire medical practitioners to engage in deeper reflection about the human elements of their practice.

In Health Humanities Reader, editors Therese Jones, Delese Wear, and Lester D. Friedman have assembled fifty-four leading scholars, educators, artists, and clinicians to survey the rich body of work that has already emerged from the field—and to imagine fresh approaches to the health humanities in these original essays. The collection’s contributors reflect the extraordinary diversity of the field, including scholars from the disciplines of disability studies, history, literature, nursing, religion, narrative medicine, philosophy, bioethics, medicine, and the social sciences.

With warmth and humor, critical acumen and ethical insight, Health Humanities Reader truly humanizes the field of medicine. Its accessible language and broad scope offers something for everyone from the experienced medical professional to a reader interested in health and illness.

Author Information

THERESE JONES is an associate professor at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and director of the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is the editor of the Journal of Medical Humanities, and her extensive publications include Sharing the Delirium: Second Generation AIDS Plays and Performances.

DELESE WEAR is a professor of behavioral and community health sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University. She has written and edited numerous books, including Educating for Professionalism: Creating a Culture of Humanism in Medical Education.

LESTER D. FRIEDMAN is chair of media and society at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. A leading scholar on media representations of medicine, he is the editor of Cultural Sutures: Medicine and Media and co-editor of Picture of Health: Medical Ethics and the Movies.


"This is a landmark volume that sets the standard for any future collection in medical/health humanities. It is by turns authoritative, funny, edgy, creative and personal—sometimes all in one piece.”
— Thomas R. Cole, Director, McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, University of Texas-Houston Medical School

"It's about time! The field of medical humanities has been waiting for a reader, and this one is it. With an excellent array of essays in appropriate topics by top people in the field, this book should set the standard for the next ten years. It will prove fascinating to undergraduates, graduate students in both the humanities and the health sciences, and to the general public and particularly those who are or will be patients—which of course is everyone."

— Lennard J. Davis, editor of The Disability Studies Reader

"This bold, intelligent, and vitally comprehensive collection is a truly interdisciplinary achievement and an indispensible resource.Through twelve judiciously selected thematic clusters, Rutgers’s Health Humanities Reader consolidates this new subfield by capturing both the complexity and excitement of health humanities scholarship. An essential tool with practical applications both inside and outside the classroom."
— Andrea Charise, PhD, assistant professor of health studies, University of Toronto, Scarborough

"[This book] consists of nearly 50 chapters, some of which deal with classic medical humanities topics, such as the notions of health and disease and the theory of the body. The majority of the book centers on more contemporary—some would say postmodern—issues, such as gender and sexuality, disability, and aging. Recommended."
— Choice

Audience: College/higher education;