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AP/SOSC 2112 3.00 Graphic Medicine

AP/SOSC 2112 3.00 Graphic Medicine

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AP/SOSC 2112 3.00

Graphic Medicine

This introductory course in arts and medicine will explore the role of comics, graphic novels and memoir within the larger project of narrative medicine and its relationship to healthcare and healing. These visual narratives effectively relate patient experience, as well as that of doctors, nurses and allied healthcare workers, and are uniquely situated to engender difficult conversations about health. In fact, it has been argued that narrative is the “glue” that holds literature and medicine together. Specifically, students will explore how comics and human health are brought together in critical conversation through the concept of “graphic medicine” where graphic novels are understood to have the potential to not only educate but also elucidate diverse topics such as pregnancy and childbirth, adolescent mental health, breast cancer, dementia and palliative care. Here, visual narratives speak to and augment the biomedical knowledge produced by research case studies and documented in medical charts. In this course, many of the texts read, discussed and analyzed will provide first-person accounts of illness and, as such, offer personal reflections on becoming ill where biomedicine is considered the dominant system for making sense of disease. As a consequence, experiential knowledge will function as a type of counternarrative as these written and visual stories provide the very opposite of scant description where patient experience is concerned. In this course, students will situate how comics, graphic novels and memoir provide a necessary critical perspective on health and healing through interdisciplinary study at the intersection of arts and medicine.