Hiram College
Carol Donley, Ph.D. Photo

Carol Donley, Ph.D.

Emerita Professor of English

BA Hiram College 1960 (Biology and General Science)
MA Kent State University 1970 (English)
Ph.D. Kent State University 1975 (English)
MA Case Western Reserve University Medical School (Bioethics) Jan 1998

Carol Donley is the former Andrews Professor of Biomedical Humanities and Professor Emerita of English at Hiram College. She has her BA from Hiram (Biology), MA and Ph.D. from Kent State University (English), and MA from CWRU School of Medicine (Bioethics). From 1990-2007 she co-directed the Center for Literature and Medicine at Hiram with her colleague, Martin Kohn, with whom she has co-authored and co-edited nine books, in the literature and medicine series of Kent State University Press. Along with Martin Kohn, she directs the annual summer seminars/symposia in literature and medicine at Hiram College. These seminars, designed for health care professionals, ethicists, theologians and literary scholars, use drama and other literary works to examine human relationships in health care contexts. Now semi-retired, Carol continues to teach part-time, edit the book series, and share responsibility for the summer symposia.


  • Associate Dean for Special Academic Programs (1992-1994)
  • Faculty member of English Dept. at Hiram College (1975-present)
  • Co-director of the Center for Literature and Medicine (90-2007)
  • Andrews Professor of Biomedical Humanities (2001-2009)


  • Vencl/Carr Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Coleman College Educator of the Year

Professional responsibilities and memberships:

  • Society for Literature and Science
  • American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
  • Association of Practical and Professional Ethics
  • William Carlos Williams Society
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Literature and Science Division of the MLA (81-86)
  • Chairperson of the Hiram College Faculty 1988-1990

Responsibilities at the Center for Literature and Medicine:

  • Co-Director with Martin Kohn of two NEH grants and several annual summer seminars in narrative bioethics.
  • Coordinator for the minor in Health Care Humanities; teach in the Biomedical Humanities major.
  • Teaching courses and workshops on Literature and Aging, “What’s Normal?” Narrative Bioethics, Uses and Abuses of Power in Health Care, etc.

Selected Publications


  • Einstein as Myth and Muse, co-authored with Alan Friedman. Cambridge University Press, 1985. Paperback, 1989. Japanese edition, 1989.
  • Literature and Aging: An Anthology, Co-authored with Martin Kohn and Delese Wear. Kent State University Press, 1992.
  • The Tyranny of the Normal: An Anthology, Co-authored with Sheryl Buckley, M.D. Kent State University Press, 1995.
  • What’s Normal? Narratives of Mental and Emotional Disorders, Co-authored with Sheryl Buckley, M.D. Kent State University Press, 2000.
  • Recognitions: Doctors and their Stories, edited by Carol Donley and Martin Kohn, KSU Press, 2002.


  • “The Tyranny of the Normal,” in Teaching Literature and Medicine, Modern Language Association, 1999.
  • Literature Editor of Bioethics for Students, ed. Stephen Post, MacMillan Reference USA, 1998.
  • Literature consultant and contributor to The Encyclopedia of Human Emotions, Macmillan Reference USA, 1999.