Introduces key concepts and debates in health humanities and the health professions. Keywords for Health Humanities provides a rich, interdisciplinary vocabulary for the burgeoning field of health humanities and, more broadly, for the study of medicine and health. Sixty-five entries by leading international scholars examine current practices, ideas, histories, and debates around health and illness, revealing the social, cultural, and political factors that structure health conditions and shape health outcomes.
Presenting possibilities for health justice and social change, this volume exposes readers—from curious beginners to cultural analysts, from medical students to health care practitioners of all fields—to lively debates about the complexities of health and illness and their ethical and political implications. A study of the vocabulary that comprises and shapes a broad understanding of health and the practices of healthcare, Keywords for Health Humanities guides readers toward ways to communicate accurately and effectively while engaging in creative analytical thinking about health and healthcare in an increasingly complex world—one in which seemingly straightforward beliefs and decisions about individual and communal health represent increasingly contested terrain.
The online essays for all Keywords titles can be found here: keywords.nyupress.org
Sari Altschuler is Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of the Northeastern Humanities Center at Northeastern University.
Jonathan M. Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and the director of the Department of Medicine, Health, and Society, at Vanderbilt University. His books include The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease, Prozac on the Couch: Prescribing Gender in the Era of Wonder Drugs, Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality, and Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland, which won the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Book Award.
Priscilla Wald is R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English at Duke University and author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative and Constituting Americans: Cultural Anxiety and Narrative Form.
Keywords for the Health Humanities transcends its title. This rich volume contains essays that not only map the essential concepts in the health humanities, but also expand the possibilities of the field going forward. With an impressive roster of contributors whose essays address such wide-ranging topics as disability, disaster, human rights and indigeneity, as well as neurodiversity, stress, and trauma, this is a Health Humanities reader for our current era. Highly recommended not only for courses but also for any reader hoping to broaden their vision of what constitutes health.
~Susan Squier, The Pennsylvania State University
Many, many aperçus here that diverge, converge, challenge, illumine, and occasionally surprise yet almost always take the reader in the plural directions that make up this exciting field. An excellent place to start to figure out what the humanities bring and do to health and medicine. Entertaining but, better still, serious and useful!
~Arthur Kleinman, author of The Soul of Care