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 health care environments, from medical schools to nursing homes;
  • Using readers' theater as a method for understanding different perspectives of patients, families and health care professionals; and
  • Applying narrative theory and practice to health care interactions; for example, the patient as story, the doctor as reader.

Primary Academic Programs Associated with the Center (others may also be influenced by the Center)

  • Biomedical Humanities major and minor
  • Nursing

Key Personnel

  • Erin Lamb, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Humanities and Co-Director of the Center
  • Kathy Luschek, Coordinator