AP/SOSC 3112 3.00
Health, Storytelling And Media
Our ideas about life, death, illness, health, as well as our own identities and experiences, are defined and expressed through stories. Story and storytelling have also been utilized by various groups as a medium through which to educate, persuade, and change people’s health-related ideas and behaviours. Stories matter a great deal: they have the potential to hurt and to heal. In this course, students will explore how stories, storytelling, and media have been used to create, express, and influence complex, contentious, and interconnected meanings of health, illness, and healing. Students will explore how stories and storytelling, via a variety of media, are used by patients, health practitioners, and others to express the complex meanings of health, illness, and healing. Patients’ written and visual narratives of illness and disability will be studied as they inform the biomedical system, understood to be the dominant means of understanding health and disease. Accordingly, a critical theoretical framework will be employed so that stories of health and healing are explored through both the realms of narrative bioethics as well as illness narrative theory. Here, the emphasis will be on exploring how stories of patient experience do more that express inner experiences as such narratives connect to society and to culture. Throughout this course, students will explore how stories of health, illness and disability provide a window into the complex—often painful and distressing as well as witty and sardonic—world of patient experience.