Centers of Distinction

The Center for Literature and Medicine is the home of a distinctive interdisciplinary program that serves undergraduates, healthcare professionals and the wider community.

The College's unique biomedical humanities major gives the students important advantages in preparation for medical school and other graduate programs.

The mission of the Center is to examine thoroughly questions of human values in healthcare contexts through literary works and to do so within clinical settings, medical and other health professional schools, and the liberal arts environment

Founded in 1990, the Center for Literature and Medicine provides interdisciplinary programs, courses, and summer seminars integrating humanities and health care. Through the study of the humanities, and in particular, through literary works, the Center examines critical healthcare issues. This work has application in clinical settings, academic medicine, health policy, and the liberal arts environment, and serves to deepen participants' ability to recognize, understand, and address ethical and humanistic issues in healthcare contexts.

What distinguishes the Center from conventional medical ethics programs are its special emphases:

  • Using literary works to raise humanities issues in medical settings
  • Developing techniques for teaching literary works in a variety of healthcare environments, from medical schools to nursing homes
  • Using readers' theater as a method for understanding different perspectives of patients, families and healthcare professionals
  • Applying narrative theory and practice to healthcare interactions; for example, the patient as story, the doctor as reader.
The Center for Engaged Ethics hosts an annual Campus Day, where students get a day off from classes to perform community service.
In March 2012, the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship hosted the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium's idealabs 2012 competition. Several area colleges attended.
The Center for Literature and Medicine began a Disease by Performance course for the 2011-2012 academic year, where students wrote a play about autism, and performed it across the state to raise awareness.
The Center for Scientific Engagement regularly conducts research and programming at the James H. Barrow Field Station.
The Garfield Institute for Public Leadership launched a study to gauge the mood of young voters leading up to the 2012 presidential election. Scholar-in-residence Jason Johnson has provided commentary on the study on national media.
The Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature hosts a Visiting Authors Series each year. In 2012, Thrity Umrigar, author of "The Space Between Us" gave a convocation and book signing on campus.
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