What Makes the Center Distinctive?

The Center for Literature and Medicine provides interdisciplinary programs, courses, and summer seminars integrating humanities and healthcare. 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.

This Center, which generates public and professional dialogue of issues in healthcare and biotechnology, is distinct in numerous ways:

  • It is the only one of its kind in the country, serving both the college and extended communities.
  • It offers the only undergraduate major in Biomedical Humanities.
  • It is home of The Literature and Medicine Book Series published by Kent State University Press.
  • It collaborates with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Hopewell, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, the University of Frankfurt and the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and healthcare.
  • It involves faculty throughout the college in courses that bridge drama, literature, music and the visual arts with health and healthcare issues.
  • It has an annual undergraduate internship with Cleveland Clinic Bioethics Department.

The Center also presents numerous projects and functions:

  • A summer symposium that brings together healthcare professionals, humanities scholars, creative artists, and educators in a dynamic learning community.
  • Visiting scholars who serve both as faculty and presenters to the entire Hiram community.
  • Collaborations with writers and visual and dramatic arts professionals using their talents to address ethical issues.
  • Courses are offered yearly in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) program, and MAIS students have chosen medical humanities as their area of concentration.
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Center Goals:

  • To be the thought leader in medical humanities
  • To provide the next generation of healthcare professionals with an understanding of humanities issues
  • To provide humanities resources and information to healthcare educators
  • To raise the level of national discussion of issues in healthcare and biotechnology